Deconstructing the Dish: ‘Ohana Stir Fried Noodles at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

(Image Credit: Walt Disney World News Today, https://wdwnt.com/2019/01/review-ohana-remains-great-amongst-recent-menu-changes-and-false-claims/)

As an antidote to the almost global quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Theme Park Professor, a website devoted to trip planning, travel, and all the ephemera of the Disney parks (along with less thorough sections devoted to other Florida parks, Universal Studios and SeaWorld) launched a “Disney at home” series devoted to bringing the magic of the parks into the home. The archive directs website browsers to virtual rides, fireworks, lesson plans to occupy the kiddos, and most interestingly (to me anyway), recipes for various park favorites. Beset by uncertainty and cabin fever, those hankering for “a taste of the magic” can occupy their time attempting to make a homemade Dole Whip (perhaps a more attainable version than Dole’s DIY version that doesn’t really work) or School Bread.

Recently, the recipes have taken a more tropical dimension, with the site featuring recipes for Tonga Toast and Macadamia Nut Pancakes, culminating with various dishes at ‘Ohana, the most famous and popular restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The restaurant features all you can eat dishes along with character experiences, allowing children (and children at heart) to meet and interact with Mickey Mouse and Lilo and Stitch in an “island chic” atmosphere. ‘Ohana remains a popular restaurant destination, one to book with an advanced dining reservation, due to the characters, the atmosphere (the sense that you are on a Hawaiian or tropical island vacation within your vacation to Orlando Florida), and the food itself, with outlets and establishments devoted to covering Disney raving about the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, Honey Cilantro Wings, and the Stir Fried Noodles.

As someone with an interest in all things Disney and all things food, I find the series intriguing, especially as a brief mental escape from a global pandemic. I have previously made the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, flambe and all, and found the dessert delicious but one that’s quite dense and definitely should only be eaten sparingly. The noodles intrigued me as well, being someone that enjoys stir fried noodles along with expanding my culinary repertoire. However, the recipe inspired both curiosity and concern, not so much with the degree of difficulty, but the choice of ingredients and the representation of cuisine of the Pacific Islands.

Yakisoba Noodles from ‘Ohana (Credit: Theme Park Professor, https://www.themeparkprofessor.com/2020/03/ohana-dinner-at-home/)

Ingredients:

Yakisoba Noodles

Shredded Red and Green Cabbage

Shredded Bok Choy

Pineapple Glaze

  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 and 1/4 tbsp garlic
  • 1 and 1/4 tbsp ginger
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp pineapple juice

Now, all of these ingredients sound delicious and for the most part work well together, the recipe is largely noodles stir fried in teriyaki sauce with cabbage thrown in. Moreover, the cuisine of the Pacific Islands is certainly influenced by local ingredients, such as coconuts and tropical fruits along with Asian culinary customs. The initial voyagers to the islands came from the Asian continent and brought their crops and livestock along with their cuisine, while more modern movement due to labor demands (especially sugar and pineapple plantations in Hawaii) fostered even greater contact and acculturation. The noodles at ‘Ohana reflect these patterns, resulting in an Asian dish influenced by the islands through the addition of pineapple.

At least, this is how the ingredients work in theory, a nominal representation of authenticity and diversity within the American icon that is Disney World. In reality, however, the components of the noodles reflect a lack of understanding of the cuisine of the Pacific Islands, the addition of pineapple juice equating the fruit as inherently “tropical” and essentializing the pan-Polynesian setting in a way to be eagerly consumed, metaphorically and literally, by the American public.

Asian and Asian inspired dishes can be readily found in the Pacific Islands, particularly in Hawaii due to the large Asian population living there. Furthermore, teriyaki sauce is not only common but beloved in the Hawaiian Islands, with the famous “Huli chicken” marinated and basted with a sauce combining elements of barbecue sauce and teriyaki. And, of course, pineapples are common to the Pacific Islands and consumed by the people living there, just not as the component of a sauce. Typically, tropical fruits are consumed as is, highlighting sweetness and freshness without adulterating, save for maybe a pinch of salt. Coconuts and coconut milk are integral for desserts, but pineapples are enjoyed as fresh fruit. Pineapples and pineapple juice as an ingredient is largely a Western imposition, to imbue a particular dish or cocktail as inherently “tropical” or “from the islands” with the addition of the yellow fruit.

This is not the first time the Disney Parks produced, marketing, and sold a pineapple flavored offering to convey the aura of a tropical vacation. But, the scrumptious, artificially flavored Dole Whip doesn’t attempt to impart a sense of authenticity, as if one was consuming the cuisine of the islands themselves. The Dole Whip is a soft serve like creation composed of natural and artificial flavors, resembling ice cream but tasting like fruit, something easily accessible and clearly recognized as American . The noodles at ‘Ohana, by contrast, are one facet of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the hotel defining itself in the setting, iconography, and culture of the Pacific Islands. What results is a Disney-fied interpretation and representation of the Pacific Islands, what Henry A. Giroux calls “an ideologically loaded fantasy.” This fantasy ranges from the name of the resort itself (“Polynesian” a term that translates to “many islands”) to the tiki imagery to the food.

“But,” you may ask, “aren’t chefs allowed to change, adapt, and update recipes? Isn’t the addition of pineapple juice a celebration of the ingredients of the islands?” And yes, people can offer their own interpretations of a given dish, demonstrating creativity or deconstructing to its bare essences to say something about food and taste. But, however, this isn’t what’s happening with ‘Ohana noodles. Instead, this takes the broad strokes of the food and culinary customs of the Pacific Islands and adds pineapple juice to communicate the tropical nature of the dish, essentializing cuisine to a simple equation of “add pineapples and stir.”

Furthermore, the fact that this occurs within the context of cultural appropriation, taking elements from the islands and the people living there and rendering them in a way for a disconnected American public to enjoy, complicates this process. While claiming to celebrate the culture and the cuisine of the Pacific Islands, the Polynesian Resort is one component of the moneymaking apparatus for the Walt Disney Company, the latter looking to profit off of representation and diversity. What results, in the case of this noodle dish, as a misunderstanding and simplification of  cuisine and culture as part of appropriation and commodification.

Cocacolonization?: A Glimpse at the Global Beverage Industry

(Image Credit: Real Meal Revolution, https://realmealrevolution.com/real-thinking/11-points-to-consider-before-drinking-brandy-and-coke/)

All of the trademarked products mentioned or discussed in this article are the property of their respective owners.

When one thinks about the iconography that defines American identity and pop culture, one would not be faulted for considering soda, specifically Coca-Cola, as something that fundamentally represents what it means to be American, for better and worse. After all, Coca-Cola was first developed and made popular in the United States and is certainly “more American” than baseball (a sport deriving from the English sport of rounders) or apple pie (again, descending from the British Isles), more exclusive than an anthem or flag (which every nation-state has), yet more common than a bald eagle (a bird I saw in the wild only very recently into my adult life).

Coca-Cola is simply everywhere in American society, available for purchase at most if not all convenience stores, markets, and gas stations. Coke products can be found at most of the major fast food chains (including longtime Pepsi partner Arby’s), while The Coca-Cola Company is one of the primary sponsors of the Olympic games and, apparently, Christmas.

61hFsh6pP3L._SX425_
I assume drinking Pepsi automatically puts you on the naught list; Image Credit: https://www.amazon.com/Coca-Cola-Santa-Claus-Christmas/dp/B004O4KTC2

The Coca-Cola Company maintains anywhere from 42% to 45% of the market share for carbonated beverages, despite the fact that Pepsico actually doubled the revenue of The Coca-Cola Company in 2018 ($64.66 billion and $31.85 billion, respectively). Moreover, though Coke and Pepsi serve as evenly matched combatants in the “cola wars,” the Coca-Cola brand is certainly more recognizable and more closely connected to Americana, with the brand Coca-Cola worth approximately $36.1 billion compared to $18.5 billion for the Pepsi brand and trademark. Like Disney and Dole, Coke and Coca-Cola are rooted in the American consumer consciousness and represent a recognizable component of American identity, at home and abroad.

The link between Coca-Cola and Americana has not gone unnoticed, as Coke is one of the oft-cited examples of globalization as Americanization, with increasing interconnectedness sparking fears of American cultural hegemony dominating and displacing the traditions and identities of other people and populations. The global expansion of The Coca-Cola Company and the increased presence and diffusion of Coke products in particular produced significant anxiety in Europe throughout the late twentieth century, with the term “cocacolonization” gaining traction over time.

First coined by the French Communist Party in the late 1940s, the term became popular in academic circles as shorthand for American cultural imperialism with the publication of Reinhold Wagnleitner’s Coca-Colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States in Austria After the Second World War (1994). With Coca-Cola the most recognized and most popular soda around the world and its intrinsic connection to American identity, it is easy and potent to center on Coke products to examine the processes of globalization and Americanization.

Despite the ubiquitnousness of Coke products both at home and abroad, The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and the soda industry as a whole have reached a bit of a crisis. Though physicians and nutritionists lambaste the American public for drinking too much soda, the fact of the matter is that soda sales have been in significant decline since the mid 2000s, with many Americans taking nutritional science into account when imbibing, constituting the greatest change to the American diet in the last decade. With the consumption of soda declining to levels not seen since 1985, Americans have increasingly turned to bottled water. The shift from soda to bottled water has been seismic, with bottled water becoming the best selling beverage by volume in the United States in both 2017 and 2018. Even around the world, bottled water rather than soda is both the most purchased and consumed beverage by volume.

Global Beverage Sales

Image Credit: Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/232773/forecast-for-global-beverage-sales-by-beverage-type/

Global Beverage Consumption

Image Credit: Statisa, https://www.statista.com/statistics/232924/global-consumption-of-packed-beverages-by-beverage-tpye/

So, with Americans drinking significantly less soda and people around the world preferring bottled water as their beverage of choice, are the charges of “cocacolonization” overblown? Well, yes and no. Though soda sales are in decline in the United States, the process of “cocacolonization” has mutated rather than reversed, with The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo reformulating their modus operandi, changing the character but not the existence of American economic and cultural hegemony.

Soda Companies Becoming Beverage Companies

First and foremost, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have long since ceased to be solely makers and purveyors of soda. Instead, both sodamakers have “diversified their portfolios” to borrow totally not annoying business lingo, becoming broader beverage companies and diverse corporate entities rather than strictly relying on the sales of carbonated soda.

It’s no secret that The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo own numerous brands as multinational beverage corporations. Coca-Cola owns and distributes Minute Maid products, Capri Sun drinks, Fairlife milk products, Powerade, Gold Peak and Honestea tea beverages, Vitamin Water, and all of the “Simply” brand beverages, while Pepsi owns Quaker Foods and Snacks, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Tropicana, Naked juice products, and formerly owned Yum Brands, the company linking KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and (prior to 2011) Long John Silver’s, and A&W restaurants.

What is surprising, however, is an increasing reliance on these products, with the acquisition to the rights of various juices, snack foods, and non-carbonated beverages imperative as soda sales continue to decline in the United States. For example, Tropicana generated nearly $1 billion in revenue in the United States in 2018, a total that, if compared to the same data available for individual soda sales in the United States (and you definitely can compare Tropicana to soda based on sugar content alone), would rank as the eight best selling soda.

Best Selling Orange Juice
Image Credit: Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/188749/top-refrigerated-orange-juice-brands-in-the-united-states/

Moreover, Gatorade, the drink full of electrolytes (the thing plants crave) present at every sporting event before being thrown onto a winning coach, generated about $5 billion in revenue in 2016,  one twelfth of Pepsico’s annual revenue. With declining soda sales seemingly a given and the sheer volatility of changing consumer tastes, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have done their best to shift away from selling just soda. Both companies have continued to buy up various smaller beverage brands in the United States as well as picking up the distribution rights to international sodas, a strategy that has led to Coca-Cola and Pepsi controlling approximately 60% of the global non-alcoholic beverage industry. Thus, rather than “cocacolonization” (and “pepsicolonization,” but the latter doesn’t roll off the tongue) simply referring to the mass influx of Coke and Pepsi branded products around the world, it just as easily applies to the continued dominance of the respective companies in the non-alcoholic beverage market, colonizing the industry at the expense of smaller sodas and beverage brands.

Global Domination Becoming Global Dependence

When writing his book on “cocacolonization” in the early 1990s, Wagnleitner was specifically thinking about and responding to the establishment of American economic and cultural hegemony in Western Europe, a product of the Cold War in which American mass consumer society became prevalent, resulting in greater prosperity for a new European middle class along with the increased availability of American consumer goods, particularly home appliances. As Europeans came to live like middle class Americans, they increasingly wanted to be like Americans, wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music, and, yes, drinking the same beverages.

Both Coke and Pepsi, the mass produced and mass consumed sodas of America, became popular in Europe over the course of the late twentieth century, as those with disposable income wanted to imbibe just like their counterparts across the Atlantic. In the same fashion, those with disposable income in rapidly growing Asian economies exhibit strong demand for American products in order to partake in the new conspicuous consumption. Because of their association with Americana and due to the global expansion of their parent companies, Coke and Pepsi have managed to permeate the globe, dominating the nonalcoholic beverage market abroad.

The fact that one can get a Coke or a Pepsi in every corner of the globe certainly speaks to the power of these companies in the beverage industry and is testament to American economic hegemony, the very point Wagnleitner highlighted in his analysis of “cocacolonization.” However, into the twenty-first century, the global expansion of The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo has been a strategy not of dominance, but dependence. In their financial report for the 2018 fiscal year, Coca-Cola noted that revenue growth, the most important statistic companies use to assess their strategies and overall vitality, was strongest in European, African, and Asian markets as well as the Middle East (deemed a separate market from the “Asian” region). The sale of unit cases (packaged Coke products) grew by 2% in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and 4% in Asian territories, while the sale of concentrate (the various syrups used to make Coke products) increased by 4% and 5% in the same markets, respectively.

(By the way, you should absolutely download the financial reports for various companies. Aside from all of the jargon, they are interesting reads as well as free information).

Though sales of Coke products (with Pepsi’s numbers following similar trends in global markets) continue to grow in foreign markets, the saturation of the beverage industry in the Western hemisphere along with the decline of soda sales in the United States is very apparent in the data. Unit case sales failed to post any growth in Latin America and grew by only 1% in North America, while concentrate sales increased by 1% in Latin America and declined 1% in North America, reflecting the decades long decline in soda sales.

Thus, though the global expansion of Coca-Cola and Pepsi highlight the strength of these beverage companies, their foray and increased presence in foreign markets is increasingly a strategy of dependence, relying on global consumption rather than forcing it. Just as recent works of scholarship on imperialism demonstrate that European countries like Great Britain and France survived specifically because of their empires rather than truly being masters of colonies in Africa and Asia, with American consumers turning away from carbonated beverages, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have turned to other beverages and the rest of the globe to ensure their viability in the twenty-first century. Moreover, analysts and insiders assessing the beverage industry continue to fear and predict that global tastes will reject soda in the same manner as the United States. While Coke and Pepsi represented American identity throughout the twentieth century, there is the very distinct possibility that they will be rejected out of nutritional concerns as well as outright rejection of American ephemera into the twenty-first century.

The purpose of this article is not to argue against “cocacolonization” or to reject the conflation of globalization as Americanization, but to reexamine and reassess what “cocacolonization” means in the twenty-first century. The expansion into global markets requires The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo to respond to consumer tastes and demands around the globe rather than simply dictating them. Though soda still generates billions of dollars in revenue and remains a popular fixture in the United States and around the world, “cocacolonization” is not the just mass presence of Coke and Pepsi products. The two soda giants have increasingly turned to other beverages and now rely on global markets, Coke and Pepsi depending on the “peripheries” for revenue growth rather than expanding as a statement of power. As various countries continue to develop economically and consumer tastes shift and change both at home and abroad, it will be interesting to see and analyze the development of the worldwide beverage industry as well as the place and presence of Coke, Pepsi, and soda within it.

Dole and Disney: An Enchanted Partnership

(Image Credit: Magical Recipes, http://www.magicalrecipes.net/aloha-isle-dole-whip-recipe/)

The Dole Whip and various products mentioned in this article are the respective property of The Dole Food Company and The Walt Disney Company.

Ah, pineapples. The mere mention of the fruit invokes visions of tropical beaches and vacation cocktails. A fruit with regal appearance that served as a status symbol in the eighteenth century, it has made its impact on cuisine as an accompaniment for ham, a key component of a rum-soaked cake turned upside down, and an unfairly maligned pizza topping, as well as a crucial part of the visual imagination of tropical tourist destinations.

If someone were to ask where pineapples come from, the gut reaction answer (particularly from an Amerocentric point of view) would be that they come from Hawaii, the golden fruit part of the iconography of the 50th state along with volcanoes, surfing, and a truly awful exhibition football game. And yes, of the approximately 154,000 tonnes of pineapple produced in the United States, the vast majority come from the tropical Hawaiian Islands. But, the United States (and therefore Hawaii) actually rank 26th when it comes to worldwide pineapple production, dwarfed by the output of top producing countries Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines. Nevertheless, pineapples remain part of the essentialization and commodification of Hawaiian imagery today, a base association owing in large part to the colonial relationship that still exists between Hawaii and the continental states.

Hawaii’s association with pineapple production and the fruit in general is due to the efforts of The Dole Food Company, formed from the merger between Castle & Cooke and the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in the early twentieth century, the latter of which was founded in 1901 by the eponymous James Dole. Dole purchased land throughout the islands for pineapple plantations, in particular a 20,000 acre holding that would become a plantation on the island of Lānaʻi, the largest plantation dedicated to growing pineapple. Combining new mechanized technology, developing machinery that could peel, core, and process anywhere from 35 to 100 pineapples per minute, with exploitative labor (as if “plantation” didn’t give that away), the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, and therefore the Dole Food Company, dominated the production of canned pineapple, producing seventy percent of the world’s pineapple crop by 1923.

But, it wasn’t through mass production alone that Dole Food Company became synonymous with canned, frozen, and even fresh pineapple. Dole and the Hawaiian Pineapple Company launched a mass advertising campaign beginning in the 1920s, tying pineapple to the latest culinary fashions along with the landscape of Hawaii. Dole Food Company along with eight other companies made Hawaii the largest producer of pineapples up to the 1950s, pineapples and America’s tropical outpost becoming one and the same in the minds of consumers. But, the desire for cheap labor led Dole along with others to shift operations to Thailand and the Philippines, with the Dole Pineapple Cannery eventually closing in 1991.

Despite the fact that pineapple production, both fresh and canned varieties, shifted to other parts of the globe, pineapples remain something fundamentally Hawaiian (and by default American) in conception, with many consumers (myself included) not truly considering where the fruit comes from. Many fresh pineapples that you find in the supermarket come from Mexico or other Central American countries. Dole Pineapple Juice, a product packed and shipped by the company most associated with Hawaiian pineapple, is a product of the Philippines. Nevertheless, through advertising, media, reputation, and tradition, pineapple and Dole products in particular remain “American” in the imagination.

This brings us to Dole Food Company’s longstanding partnership with Disney, a continuation of the aggressive marketing strategies used by the fruit company and an  alliance that has furthered the prestige of both corporate entities since the late twentieth century. Dole and Disney both stress their ties to wholesomeness and market their products as family-friendly, and have increasingly worked in tandem with one another over the past few years. While Dole markets its produce as healthy for mind and body, Disney views its media as nourishment for happiness and the soul, assumed goodwill and integrity key components of both brands. The cooperation between Dole and Disney resulted in a dessert that fans claim is just as magical as the rides and characters at Disneyland and Disney World, the “Dole Whip.”

The partnership between Dole and Disney began in 1976, when Dole Food Company took over the primary sponsorship for one of the most well-known attractions at Disneyland, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Debuting in 1963, the Enchanted Tiki Room is a Polynesian themed attraction celebrating island romance and wonder in a magical theater-in-the-round. Initially serving pineapple juice and fruit spears, the Dole Whip came into being in 1986, a dessert similar to soft-serve ice cream made with Dole brand pineapple juice powder. A sweet treat now made entirely with vegan ingredients, the tropical themed dessert spread to other Disney parks, now being sold in Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and attracted a cult following, with 1.3 million Dole Whips purchased on an annual basis. Though the dish can also be found at the Dole Plantation tourist attraction in Oahu, Disney has created “Dole Whip devotees,” with merchandise created in homage to the cult classic along with a podcast named after the theme park dessert.

The Dole Whip adds to the allure of Disney parks, a beloved food item with a false sense of exclusivity that attracts fans young and old, spurring demand for vacation pilgrimages to Disney parks. The belief that a proper Dole Whip can only be found in “the happiest place on earth” and the fact that the dessert consistently appears on “best food at Disney” lists boosts the reputation and “magic” associated with all things Disney. For Dole Food Company, the cult status of the Dole Whip boosts the exposure of and reputation for Dole fruit products, while the continued sponsorship of the Enchanted Tiki Room perpetuates the assumption that pineapples and Dole pineapple packing are fundamentally connected to the culture of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Moreover, the presence and popularity of Dole within Disney parks helps tie the company to American pop culture and ephemera, marketing itself in alliance with Disney, one of the brands most associated with Americana. Though having long shifted operations out of the Hawaiian Islands, Dole and it’s products remain tied to the consumer consciousness as American aided in large part through its partnership with Disney.

Dole superhero
Image Credit: The Packer, https://www.thepacker.com/article/marvel-superheroes-coming-dole-produce

The collaboration between Disney and Dole does not end with the Dole Whip, as the two companies have increasingly worked with one another in the past few decades, their cooperation reinforcing hallmarks of family-friendly products and all in all wholesomeness. To understand the structure and function of this alliance outside of Disney parks, one must look at another popular yellow fruit mass produced by Dole Food Company, the banana.

Since 2016, select fresh produce items, particularly bananas distributed by Dole, have featured stickers and logos with various Disney and Pixar characters, ranging from Finding Dory and the upcoming Lion King remake to a celebration of the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse’s existence. Rather than simply your imagination tricking you into thinking you’re seeing the presence of Disney, its characters, and merchandise everywhere you go, this part of a co-branded effort to “provide high quality produce to help families lead healthier lives.”

Both companies previously launched their own respective programs for nutritional science, with Dole creating the Dole Nutrition Institute in 2003 and Disney launching its Nutrition Guideline Policy and the “Mickey Check” in 2006, the latter of which marking nutritional sound food items with the stamp of Disney’s famous mascot. While nutrition and the incorporation of more fruits and vegetables is certainly important, the collaborative effort furthers the desire for Disney and Dole to stress the wholesomeness of their respective brands and for Dole to entrench itself within consumer consciousness as an American company.

For Disney, establishing nutrition standards and programs helps the company already adored by many garner further goodwill, earning the trust of children and their parents purchasing products with Disney characters. Furthermore, specifically labeling bananas ensures brand exposure, making sure children and families have visual hints about upcoming Disney features. Bananas serve a popular and convenient snack food for many, with Americans consuming about 19 pounds per capita of bananas annually and more than 100 billion eaten around the globe, but they are often a snack given to children, the target audience for Disney products as well as the marketing push with Dole. Working with Dole to brand fruits and vegetables with Disney characters helps to augment Disney’s claims about pursuing nutrition, but also ensures that young consumers of bananas get a frequent reminder about upcoming films and further entrenches Disney characters within the psyche of youth. As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, while a banana a day makes sure you see Toy Story 4 on opening weekend.

The reinvigorated partnership certainly benefits the Dole Food Company as well, a mutually beneficial alliance in the same manner as the Dole Whip. Dole fruits and vegetables marked with stickers or logos featuring Disney characters or the Mickey check help transfer the goodwill associated with all things Disney to Dole products, a bag of salad greens or a bunch of bananas getting the approval of Mickey and Minnie Mouse meaning more to children (or even adults) than adhering to the guidelines of the FDA. Furthermore, the presence of Disney iconography on Dole products establishes Dole Food Company and its bananas, pineapples, and other produce as something fundamentally American, tying goods from all around the world to one of the hallmarks of American pop and corporate culture. No matter where said produce comes from or how it is harvested and brought to the supermarket shelf, the collaboration between Disney and Dole conveys trust, wholesomeness, and Americana.

Though Disney is no stranger to corporate synergy and brand alliance, working extensively with Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Burger King throughout the late twentieth century, its association with Dole is truly interesting. Rather than simply an alliance based on financial incentives or a recent contract won by the highest bidder, the partnership between Dole and Disney is one in which reputation iconography and seem to be the biggest concern. The Dole Whip ensures that people are aware of Dole’s role in pineapple packing while also adding to the mystique and lore of Disney parks. Moreover, recent efforts at co-branding help to reinforce the brand mission toward health and wholesomeness for both products as well as ensuring the omnipresence of Disney characters and helping Dole latch on to a key component of American pop culture. Though Hawaii is no longer the center of world pineapple canning and production, the fruit and islands remain tied to one another because of Dole’s history and dominance of the industry, this conceptualization no doubt strengthened by the alliance between Dole produce, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and Disney.