Jim Campos on “Blue Winner and Red Winner”

The Blue Winner Brand from Covina in Los Angeles is an ultra rare label and highly valued by citrus label collectors. It has a companion label from the Covina Heights Groves company, the Red Winner Brand, equally rare.

The distinction between a blue and red “winner” was used to inform consumers that there was a quality difference between the fruit of the two brands. Blue associated with a brand meant the fruit was of the highest quality, a “blue ribbon” first place winner. And, red was associated with the “red ribbon” second place winner. At country fairs, third place is represented by a “white ribbon.” The color white did not translate well as an eye-catcher for labels, so the colors yellow and green often were used for brands of fruit quality lower than blue and red.

Almost all of the labels that feature a means of transportation–cars, trains, boats and planes–are of high interest to label collectors.