CMI Orchards Teases Strong Northwest Cherry Season Kickoff; Joel Hewitt, Scott Agnew, George Harter, Rochelle Bohm, and Danelle Huber Comment
WENATCHEE, WA - There is the physical act of growing fruit, and then there is the more abstract act of growing a brand—CMI Orchards is doing both. The supplier recently announced that it anticipates further growth of its cherry crop in 2021, ensuring that greater volumes will make it to shopping carts this season.
“The Northwest cherry season is short and sweet, and our goal is to deliver the best sales opportunities for our customers, creating a win-win situation,” Vice President of Marketing, George Harter, said. “We’re expecting to peak just in time for Independence Day celebrations, and our American Dream program is a great tool for retailers to stir up excitement in store with eye-catching, patriotic displays and packaging.”
A press release explained that excellent weather conditions, including the absence of significant frost, have contributed to outstanding quality, great sizing, and 17 percent growth of this year’s crop as compared to 2020.
In support of its buy-side partners’ seasonal cherry programs, CMI Orchards is bringing a number of specialty varieties and innovative programs to produce aisles.
“Cherries are one of the most profitable items in produce. We work hard to provide exceptional and consistent quality across all brands and varieties we supply. Matched with our innovative marketing and advertising efforts and support, we’re able to help retailers introduce new varieties to customers and maximize sales,” explained Brand Manager Rochelle Bohm.
Marketing Specialist Danelle Huber also weighed in on the importance of strong branding in the produce department.
“We continue to revise and leverage digital marketing efforts to drive sales with our retail customers. We use a variety of methods, including beacon targeting to digital out-of-home, which allows us to connect with consumers as they make buying decisions. It has been a profitable strategy for our retailer customers,” said Huber.
Successful produce programs at retail begin at the field level, and, luckily for CMI’s buy-side network, the incoming supply of cherries is looking as strong as ever.
“We are seeing consistent spread throughout our growing districts, with Skeena and Sweetheart cherries showing exceptional size and quality,” explained Joel Hewitt, Domestic Sales Organic Manager.
Also teasing CMI’s bountiful cherry season was Export Manager Scott Agnew.
“The timing of this year’s crop started off a bit later than last year but is lining up nicely with market demand, with limited overlap with the California crop. We expect harvest to continue throughout the remainder of June and July,” explained Agnew.
If you haven’t already, be sure to make space on the shelves for these sales-driving cherry insights.