There’s always money in the banana stand, and George Bluth isn’t the only one who knows it.
Bananas, as Amazon has learned in Seattle, are a smart way to ingratiate a company with its headquarters city.
Confused? Here’s a fun fact: Amazon gives away bananas, and lots of them, to the public each day near its Seattle headquarters. The Amazon Community Banana Stand — two of them actually — launched in 2015, as a company effort to connect with the city and offer its residents healthy snacks as they pass by.
Now as Boston prepares its pitch to be the most ap-peel-ing site for Amazon’s second headquarters, those familiar with the company’s fruitful marketing strategies may wonder: Would its potassium-rich stands come along with headquarters No. 2?
“A banana a day keeps the doctor away,” reads a sign in their explanatory Youtube video for the Seattle kiosks. “Take one. Not just for Amazonians, but for anyone in the community. Enjoy!”
Amazon’s “banistas” have handed out more than 1 million free bananas in the past year, averaging more than 4,500 a day.
But the ripe idea hasn’t all been bunches of fun.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that the banana stands have ingrained themselves so much in Seattle culture that customers are starting to always expect free bananas. Everywhere.
And they want other fruits too. One stand “bananager” told the Journal that some people have come by asking for other fruits, too. Avocados. Pears. Citrus fruits.
A restaurant manager complained that customers have been treating his restaurant like a BYOB shop: Bring Your Own Banana. They come in with bananas, eat their fruit at the table, and leave their peels for someone else to throw away.
With an Oct. 19 deadline for cities around the country to put forth bids for the second headquarters, Boston still has a few weeks to ponder what it might mean to have one of the world’s largest companies here.
Could those stands make for a bright yellow addition to Boston’s street corners, or will the very idea of having a company that big here make city residents go, well, bananas?
Bostonians may be (banana) split.Felicia Gans can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.