Miss Chiquita Banana was created in 1944 by Dik Browne, the same artist who created the 'Cambell Soup Kids' and 'Hagar the Horrible.' She was created as part of the first 'branding' of bananas, and helped teach consumers about the nutritional values of bananas and how to ripen them.
The first live model who appeared as 'The First Lady of Fruit' was Patti Clayton in 1944. (see song below)
The most famous Miss Chiquita was Elsa Miranda (no relation to Carmen) who made numerous personal appearances in 1945 and 1946.
The likeness of Miss Chiquita first appeared on labels to identify Chiquita bananas in 1963. She was depicted as a banana until 1987 when the creator of the Pink Panther, artist Oscar Grillo, transformed her into a woman.
ORIGINAL CHIQUITA BANANA SONG
I'm Chiquita banana and I've come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are flecked with brown and have a golden hue
Bananas taste the best and are the best for you
You can put them in a salad
You can put them in a pie-aye
Any way you want to eat them
It's impossible to beat them
But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.
(The song was created by a BBDO advertising agency team lead by Robert Foreman. Foreman and his staff developed the jingle using office talent, an old piano and a box of paper clips shaken to simulate maracas. Garth Montgomery wrote the lyrics and co-worker Len MacKenzie provided the music. The singer in the original 1944 recording was Patti Clayton, the first in a long line of Miss Chiquita's.)