Pineapple Ads on the U.S. Mainland

How did the pineapple become synonymous with Hawaii? Thank Hawaii’s pineapple industry’s aggressive national advertising campaign.

The 1907 Bankers’ Panic reduced the demand for canned pineapples. Also, many Americans have never tried pineapple, and those who did ate it only on special occasions. Thus, pineapple companies in Hawaii invested $50,000, or three percent of their products’ value, to make pineapple a household staple in 1908.

The industry worked with New York advertising company Joseph A. Richards & Staff and placed advertisements in thirteen most widely circulated magazines in the United States, reaching 25 million readers. The ads emphasized the pineapple’s quality and the cans’ cleanliness. This campaign made the pineapple mainstream and turned it into a staple ingredient in many housewives’ recipes (e.g. the upside-down cake).


In the 1910s and 1920s, the pineapple companies advertised their products. They emphasized their product’s uniformity, high quality, moderate price, freshness (“Picked and canned the day they ripen”), and growing conditions (“grown in the rich lava soil fields of Hawaii”). Some ads contained recipes using pineapples and offers for free recipe booklets. Companies included Del Monte, Hawaiian Pineapple Company (later known as “Dole’s Pineapples”), Big Horn, Chef, Libby’s, and First Pick, as seen below.


Omaha daily bee., October 9, 1915, NEWS SECTION, Page 9, Image 9

Evening bulletin., March 25, 1909, 3:30 EDITION, INDUSTRIAL SECTION, Image 19

Honolulu star-bulletin., December 16, 1916, 3:30 Edition, Page THIRTY, Image 30

The North Platte semi-weekly tribune., October 20, 1914, Image 7

The Oklahoma City times, July 20, 1917, HOME EDITION, Image 6

The Oklahoma City times., June 27, 1917, HOME EDITION, Page SIX, Image 6

The evening world., January 19, 1914, Final Edition, Image 5

The evening world., March 31, 1915, Latest Extra, Image 4

The Morning Tulsa daily world., December 29, 1921, FINAL EDITION, Page 3, Image 3

Perrysburg journal., June 21, 1912, Page PAGE EIGHT, Image 8

The evening world, July 01, 1921, Wall Street Final Edition, Page 6, Image 6

The evening world., June 28, 1921, Baseball Final, Page 12, Image 12

The evening world., June 17, 1921, Baseball Final, Page 14, Image 14

The evening world., July 15, 1921, Wall Street Final Edition, Page 4, Image 4


The evening world., July 08, 1921, Wall Street Final Edition, Page 4, Image 4


– Alice Kim

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