TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dole Japan, Inc. launched the Dole Banana Message Project (see https://dole.co.jp/bananamessage/en/) on January 5th, 2017. The project offers people the opportunity to support runners in the 2017 Tokyo Marathon, both those from Japan and those many participants coming from overseas, giving their all in the race, with messages of support written directly on banana skin using Japan’s first pen created just to write on bananas, the BANAPEN®. As of this release, there have already been approximately 11,000 mentions in social media within Japan, and the special vending machine developed just to sell the BANAPEN® and bananas sells out of its stock early on, day after day, generating buzz.
The patented BANAPEN® is the first of its kind in Japan, created specifically for writing text or drawings on banana skin. Taking advantage of the way that banana skin oxidize, the BANAPEN® replaces ink with a transparent, edible vinegar. Any text or drawings written onto the peels will slowly appear on the peels over time. Bananas, a fruit that has long been a favorite across multiple generations, have evolved into a medium for sharing messages, as well, with the introduction of the BANAPEN®.
This project, as part of an effort to commemorate Dole Japan’s tenth year as a sponsor of one of the largest marathons in Japan at the Tokyo Marathon 2017, to be held on February 26th, 2017, allows people to write messages, using the BANAPEN® on special low-brix sugar bananas. Those mildly sweet, refreshing bananas are a favorite of runners who push their limits as a pre- and mid-exercise treat.
When sales of those low-brix bananas, each together with a BANAPEN®, began on January 5th, 2017, in Tokyo’s Shibuya at a dedicated Dole Banana vending machine, their popularity was so intense that the vending machine sold out, day after day, increasing media coverage of the project across Japan. Samples of the low-brix bananas and the BANAPEN® were also made available at the JOGLIS running station, in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, where runners practice. A Banana Message Support Spot was set up to allow runners to write messages, and it became a topic of hot conversation among runners as well.
Dole will continue to support everyone who gives their all for sports, with bananas.
NOTE: Members of the media are eligible to receive a courtesy BANAPEN®, COD, via the mail.