Dole Names America’s Top Salad Cities

Hold the top sirloin, fried chicken and BBQ. A study by the world’s largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables suggests that residents of a number of U.S. cities known for their meat-eating ways may actually prefer salad.

The internal study, conducted by Dole Fresh Vegetables of Monterey, Calif., named 21 markets as “Top Salad Cities” in the United States. This means that local residents in these markets eat more salad per person than their counterparts in other U.S. cities, have the potential to eat more salad or are more likely to try new salad blends, experiment with salad and salad ingredients in the kitchen or serve salad as a meal.

Dole Fresh Vegetables is a subsidiary of Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE: DOLE), the world’s largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables. The exhaustive, 18-month research effort, part of the company’s relaunch of its reinvented DOLE Salads line, surveyed the in-store buying habits and in-home consumption trends of prepackaged salad consumers throughout the United States and Canada.

According to Russell Evans, senior brand manager for Dole Fresh Vegetables, the list of “Top Salad Cities” includes a number of markets – including Wichita, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Detroit and Louisville – known more for meat than the green stuff.

“Despite their reputation as meat-eating capitals, many of the cities on our list qualify as sophisticated salad markets and home to an increasing number of salad lovers,” said Evans. “We’d like to think that meat lovers in these cities are more likely to add a salad to their favorite entrees – while consumers in all 21 ‘Salad Cities’ are more inclined to use salad as a meal or as the basis for creative new lunch and dinner entrees. From a salad standpoint, these cities are definite trendsetters.”

As part of its ongoing mission to get Americans eating salad again, and facing new evidence showing that Americans are less interested in salads at a time when the latest health research suggests they need them the most, Dole is launching its re-imagined bagged salad line designed to reignite the country’s fascination – and consumption of – fresh, prepackaged salads.

The reinvented DOLE ® Salads arrived in supermarkets in the United States and Canada this fall as one of the most ambitious salad relaunches in history, complete with 32 separate blends and nine salad kits. Highlights of the redeveloped line include a new pinch-and-pull, Easy-Open salad bag; the DOLE Salad Guide, the first-ever on-pack rating of the taste and texture characteristics of each salad blend; and a new “Pairs well with” section featuring serving suggestions and a recipe unique to that blend.

The redeveloped line is being introduced via a comprehensive multimedia campaign featuring a new Dole Salad Guide spokesperson. Dole will be specifically targeting salad consumers in the 21 “Salad Cities.”

DOLE Salads is part of a larger commitment by Dole and the Dole Nutrition Institute to increase the nutritional health of Americans and work to reverse a number of negative health trends – among them the growth of poor diet and inactivity as a leading cause of preventable death. Concurrent with these trends, researchers at Dole and elsewhere are rapidly discovering new compounds in fruits and vegetables that have the potential to prevent disease and extend life.

About Dole Foods

Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE: DOLE), with 2008 revenues of $7.6 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables. Dole also markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. For more information, visit www.dole.com.

TOP SALAD DMAs in the UNITED STATES

Determined via private research conducted by Dole Fresh Vegetables and based on a combination of per-capita consumption, consumption potential, and consumer willingness to try new salad blends and experiment with salads in the kitchen. Markets are listed in alphabetical order.

Albany-Schenectady, N.Y. Indianapolis
Buffalo, N.Y. Kansas City, Mo.
Cincinnati Lansing, Mich.
Columbus, Ohio Los Angeles
Dallas Louisville, Ky.
Denver New York City
Detroit Phoenix
Flint-Saginaw, Mich. Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, Mich. Salt Lake City
Harford-New Haven, Conn. Wichita-Hutchinson, Kan.
Houston

Contacts:

DGWB PR
Bob Ochsner or Sung Choi
(714) 881-2341

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