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Chiquita Brands International


            
             is the world's #1 producer, marketer, and distributor of bananas. Chiquita Brands International is the biggest of the bunch. Chiquita produces and distributes bananas and other fresh fruits and vegetables under a variety of familiar brands, including Chiquita, Amigo, and Premium. Its processed foods unit cans vegetables, sells juices, and processes bananas for sale as food ingredients (www.hoovers.com) .
             The company sells its produce in 60 countries and has operations on six continents. They have over 100 years of experience in growing and marketing bananas, and were ranked 8th most admired company in food production according to Fortune Magazine, March 3, 2003. The Chiquita brand name has 98% brand awareness in the United States giving them a great amount of brand equity.
             Chiquita emerged from a pre-arranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002, giving bondholders a 95.5% stake for a $700-million reduction in the company's debt (www.hoovers.com). Their headquarters is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
             Industry & Competitors.
             Chiquita Brands International operates in the food (agricultural operations & products) industry. This industry is defined by those companies that produce, raise, and grow agricultural and farm based food products, including fruits, vegetables, and other crop products. The agricultural food industry is highly dependent on government regulations and market prices.
             Chiquita's primary top competitors are Dole and Fresh Del Monte Produce. Both these companies are larger than Chiquita and both market their own bananas as well as produce. .
             Dole - One of the world's leading producers of bananas and pineapples, and also markets citrus, table grapes, dried fruits, and nuts. Dole has added value-added products (packaged salads, novelty canned pineapple shapes) to insulate it from commodity markets (www.hoovers.com).
             Fresh Del Monte Produce - The company uses the name on the fresh fruit that it grows, transports, and markets in North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific.


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