Roxane Loves Fruit Stickers

« Every designer should collect things » said Véronique Vienne, in a talk she gave in Amiens (France) back in 2013, when I was still studying typeface design there. This had quite an impact on me. At that time, I had already started collecting the tiny (and annoying) stickers you find on fruits and vegetables. Suddenly I didn’t feel like a weirdo anymore.

I don’t remember exactly why I started keeping them, and I still don’t know what attracts me most about the tiny sticky pieces: seeing them on the fruits or stocking them in my notebook, all together.


Collecting fruit stickers has a name. I couldn’t find an English translation, but in French, it’s called « Légufrulabélophile ». Definitely not a word you see every day.
The first sticker on a piece of fruit appeared in 1929, on a banana. This first label was called « The Fyffes Blue Label », and its goal was to distinguish Fyffes’ bananas from other bananas available in grocery stores. (Fyffes is the world’s oldest fruit company, founded in 1888). As you can see, only subtle changes have been done on the stickers since 1929.
On most stickers there is a 4 or 5-digit number. This code is called a PLU code (price look up price code). Basically, it is an identification system for fruits and vegetables which has been used since the ’90s in the USA. It also allows us to know how the fruit has been produced. A 4-digit code identifies a «conventionally grown produce», a 5-digit code, organic produce. The code is an international standard, and they are the same everywhere in the world. Amazing, right?


Not really relevant here, but this is how the labels are stuck on the fruits (I personally have always wondered how this was done)

The first image above is from my collection, which is tiny compared to some of the ones I found online. Some people have collected over 30 000 stickers. Now that’s a lot of fruit!

Anyway, let me show you some of my personal favorites*:

Hobo is mostly used for fruits stickers. Fruit name set in hobo, printed in on gold background. Because Hobo doesn’t need much more than that.

There are a bunch of stickers based on the same leaf model. Funny how these designs are almost the same among the different brands here.

I particularly like these fruit shaped cutouts. Interesting to find the exact same shapes for different logos.

What I like best is when the color of the sticker matches the piece of fruit it’s stuck on.
On the right is what I look like, most of the times I go to the supermarket.

Brush and script typefaces are also widely used.

Finally, here are some random ones I found and that I think are interesting to look at.

Fun fact: according to Jean-François Porchez, José Mendoza also used to collect orange stickers. Are there any other type folks out there who collect them, too?

*Images: courtesy of Laurence, her website, whose collection is more extensive than mine.

7 Comments Roxane Loves Fruit Stickers

  1. Claus Virmer

    Hi, I have with grreat interest read your page. i collect bananastickers and have done so on and off since 1990. I love the uniqueness of the stickers which identifies the bananas. Anyhow i am 52 years old and have liveds a very active outdoortype of life, but recently I have gotten disseased so now I have to do more sitting down activities and hence I have taken up my collection of bananastikers. I have about 1.200 different which basically is only about 10 % of the total amount of stickers. I am very interested in the vintage stickers of Chiquita and Fyffes. If you or your friend are interested in trading please let me know it will be a pleasure. Br Claus

  2. Manfred Paul

    If you are interested in more fruit stickers, have a look at this book from German Artist Eugen Oker:

    The fruit sticker collection of Eugen Oker
    The Munich writer Eugen Oker (1919 – 2006) embodies the sly mentality of a Jack of all tales and was the inventor of the journalistic “Game Reviews”. He wrote Poems, novels, nonsense tales, children´s books, biographies and satirical novels on war and dictatorship as well. With his view of the world as a mere Collection of surprising and amiable absurdities he was a brother in Spirit of Karl Valentin, Ludwig Thoma or Oskar Maria Graf. In 1980 he started a Collection of fruit Stickers, so called “biggerln”. With an almost manic insistance he collect approx. 3500 of those items what seems to be considered the world´s biggest fruit sticker Collection. Oker randomly adhered them to A4- cardboard in a chaotic way characterized by a nonchalant anti- order. So he celebrates in a way a dadaistic game with the conventions of professional collecting. But therefore the grafical and advertisment specialities of these important documents of the history of trade with their almost anarchistic colorfulness as a caleidoscopic concert of the different fonts, shapes and Formats become clear in a fascinating mood. In this respect this Collection is likeable and authentic, ambiguous and casual at the same time.

    You can order here:

    BR, Manfred Paul

  3. John Mondey

    Interested to know if fruit sticker collections have any significant dollar value. My wife has over 45,000 different ones as of January 2019 (and still growing).

  4. Carolina

    Hi! great work! Although it’s out of the topic of your research, I always wonder why fruit stickers are not biodegradable? BTW I can send you stickers from NZ if you want.

  5. Hank Ankins

    Hi, I collect banana labels, as well as CHIQUITA fruit labels.
    Down here in New Zealand it is hard to get different labels to trade as we only have a small population and a couple of importing companies for bananas.
    I have 48 CHIQUITA fruit labels, and 4,000 banana labels.
    I would really like to trade with an Australian collector as I like their labels.
    Regards Hank Ankins

  6. Cindy

    I have some fruitstickers. Is there anyone interested to get them? I’m from the Netherlands and want to give them to someone who collects them.


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