Bug’s Citrus


There are few things about the Bug’s Citrus box that make it a veritable container of ideas regarding fruit boxes and place (what essentially constitutes this blog’s raison d’etre).

Bug’s Citrus is from Dimbulah in far north Queensland, approximately 120 kms west of Cairns. The areas south and west of Cairns are big fruit-growing regions (the region, that is, not the fruit), particularly citrus, mangoes and bananas. As these are tropical fruits it naturally follows that the packaging used to send them away reflects this tropicalness. I like to regard them, like all fruit boxes, as ambassadors of their region.

I recently read Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, both to satisfy a latent curiosity in the notion of Wonderland, and to determine if this place bore any resemblance to the lands depicted on fruit boxes. There were two things in the book I noted that related to Bug’s Citrus in particular:

The abundance of anthropomorphic characters, and;

The propensity of these characters to engage with word play, or puns.

Bug’s derives both its name and the associated anthro’ characters from the names of its farmers, O & G Bugno (see what they’ve done there?).

Of course, the Bug’s Citrus box is but one of many fruit boxes to engage with the use of word play, and other examples of such derivations will be duly noted as they appear on this blog. It would seem appropriate and perhaps even necessary, given its widespread use, to develop a noun to encapsulate this strategy of determining a box’s characters. This will be the sole purpose of the next Fruiterer blog entry.

In terms of the Bug’s Citrus graphics, the bugs (lady beetles if I’m not mistaken) are somewhat skillfully rendered as they stand holding aloft lemons and grapefruit in a playful manner. The scale of things has been altered (another theme in Carroll’s story) and either the citrus is really small or the lady beetles are really large. The choice of a watermelon-like red as the box’s main colour probably relates to the colour of pink grapefruit flesh, but as we will see in other boxes the colour of the fruit need bear no resemblance to its box.

I could also suggest that there is a link in the theme of consumption in Wonderland (Alice is always eating and drinking things) and the fruit box as a device for consumers containing fruit for consumption. But I may have my bow drawn a little long now.

During the process of collecting and documenting fruit boxes for several months and noting where they are from, Dimbulah quickly became one of my favourite areas for its lively box designs. It would appear from observing its ambassadors that there is something very Wonderland about Dimbulah. I’m definitely taking a trip there.

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