Northwest Cherry Crop Update
An updated crop report was issued by CMI Orchards highlighting key opportunities for promoting Northwest cherries this season.
Steve Castleman, Vice President of Sales at CMI Orchards, described the landscape of the upcoming cherry season in very favorable terms: “All reports indicate that we are in for a wonderful Northwest cherry season starting around June 12. Our fruit sizing looks great, quality should be outstanding, and harvest timing should coordinate nicely for holiday promotions.”
According to CMI, cherries are one of the top performing items in produce. “Despite their short season, cherries bring in huge profits to produce departments,” Castleman said. “Cherries are typically an impulse purchase and retail displays offer an excellent way to capture as many of these important sales as possible.”
CMI offers packaging and display options for retailers to capture the interest of consumers, including a Nature’s Candy™ two-box shipper display that ships with Red or Rainier cherries, high-graphic pouch bags, new top-seal packaging for Red cherries, an American Dream™ display carton, new Skylar Rae 1 lb clamshells, and 6 oz Red cherry snack packaging.
George Harter, Vice President of Marketing at CMI Orchards, said the devastating weather and smaller-than-expected harvest volume out of California has amplified the need for retailers to line up Northwest cherry promotions. “Retailers only have a few months to capture cherry sales, and many retailers are going to be looking to the Northwest crop to maximize cherry results for the season,” Harter said. “We’re ready to get to work and help line up some great promotions with our retail partners.”
Castleman reports the Northwest crop was expected to be very congested in late June through July. “At one point, it was looking like the majority of our crop was going to come off the trees in a three to four-week period,” he said. “Now it’s looking like early districts have advanced, which has created more separation, so we won’t see as much congestion as we initially thought. The peak time to promote is still going to land between June 23 and July 25.”
Harter explained this timing is great news for retailers. “We will have huge promotable volume during the biggest opportunity for cherry sales in alignment with Independence Day celebrations,” he said. “Good timing, exceptional flavor and high quality—this season is shaping up in all the best ways to be a monumental Northwest cherry season.”
Article posted on Fresh Plaza and Perishable News