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And Now a Word From Our Fruit Salad Sponsor

Posted in Branding

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney

It is springtime in Minnesota – at last!  Cue the smell of fresh cut grass, the clink of ice cubes in a glass, and the taste of wonderful, fresh fruit. Yep, it’s time to start thinking about fruit salad.  I like to start with cantaloupe, and add blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and kiwi, if any or all are available.  How about you?

You could start with these:

And add these:

Or maybe you prefer these:

And what about these?

And some of this for a hint of the tropics:

And then maybe you should add some of this, just to keep it from going brown:

Wait a second, you might be thinking, it’s just plain old fruit, so what’s with all of the brand names?

According to a fascinating series on citrus on the Smithsonian’s Design Decoded blog, one man’s generic commodity may be another man’s consumer packaged good, ready to be branded and marketed to the masses.  The blog explores how agribusiness and marketing have worked hand in hand to take items often considered to be interchangeable and transform them into products that consumers may ask for by name.  In the past, I’ve touched on how inventors of new products, including new, hybridized food products, such as the SweeTango and Zestar! apple varieties developed by the University of Minnesota, face challenges in obtaining intellectual property protection and

But the same issues go for “regular” varieties of fruits and vegetables – your Chiquita bananas, your Sunkist oranges, and the like.  It’s an interesting discussion – does a Cuties brand mandarin taste or peel better than a non-branded mandarin?  Are you more likely to buy a Dole brand pineapple than fruit from another, possibly no-name/non-branded source?

Update:
According to a fascinating series on citrus on the Smithsonian’s Design Decoded blog, one man’s generic commodity may be another man’s consumer packaged good, ready to be branded and marketed to the masses. The blog explores how agribusiness and marketing have worked hand in hand to take items often considered to be interchangeable and transform them into products that consumers may ask for by name. In the past, I’ve touched on how inventors of new products, including new, hybridized food products, such as the SweeTango and Zestar! apple varieties developed by the University of Minnesota, face challenges in obtaining intellectual property protection and avoiding use of descriptive marks.