Friday, June 10, 2005

Who ordered the pineapple?

I had another "why don't I have a camera on me?" moment today--this time in Cub Foods. It seems some produce manager or buyer has decided that Minnesotans are not eating enough pineapple, because upon entering the front door and turning towards the produce department, I was greeted by a stack of pineapples the likes of which I have never seen before (and perhaps will never see again). Actually, even if I'd had a camera, I doubt it would have fully captured the scale and magnitude of this pineapple display. Unless you've worked in a fruit warehouse or perhaps in the kitchen of an island resort, I truly doubt you've ever seen this many pineapples in one place in your life. The display extended at least 30 feet from left to right and was stacked to within five feet of the ceiling tiles, at which height there was a sign proudly declaring this absurdity "The World's Largest Pineapple Display."

World's largest? Who's to say. But really, how many pineapple displays can there be currently vying for this title?

I myself have never purchased a pineapple (not in whole fruit form, anyway). I've never even considered buying a pineapple. I live alone. What am I going to do with a whole pineapple? It's not that I don't like pineapple, but I'm really more of a one ring at a time, once or twice a year kind of fan... maybe a wedge served on the edge of a fruity drink every now and then... but that's all. I really don't need more pineapple than that.

I'm guessing I'm not the only one who's never entered Cub Foods thinking, "I think I'll buy a pineapple today." Apparently sensing a need to further promote the pineapple, Cub Foods has wisely placed a greeter at this display--a Pineapple Consultant, if you will. He was mainly offering free samples, but I'm going to assume he was also armed with a full litany of pineapple recipes and serving suggestions. Perhaps he had some handy tips and pointers for peeling and slicing your pineapple safely and easily as well.

I couldn't help but wonder... why the push to sell pineapples? Did the produce manager severely over-order, and the gigantic display is his attempt to "turn lemons into lemonade" (or, more appropriately, turn pineapples into upside-down cake)? Maybe the order for 3,000 pineapples was correct, but occurred only because the store got some amazing deal for buying in bulk, like the time back in high school when we had cheese pizza 14 times in one quarter because the cafeteria lady found a bargain.

Maybe the pineapple is just the first in what will be a series of single-item marketing attempts in the Cub produce department. If that's the case, someone warn me when it's "World's Largest Mushroom Display" week. I think a precariously stacked 20-foot high pile of mushrooms hovering over me is really more than I can take. The mere thought of suddenly being buried in an avalanche of dusty fungus is enough to give me nightmares for weeks. Yech.

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