Oppy's Jon Bailey Shines a Light on California Cherry Season
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - While some would refer to life as a box of chocolates, I for one, would call it a bowl of cherries. As the season kicks off in California, it’s up to retailers to spotlight this unique category to drive sales—and I spoke with Jon Bailey, who leads Oppy’s cherry category, to find out how to do just that.
“The best thing retailers can do to boost the category is make sure consumers are aware that it’s cherry season,” says Jon. “Position cherries so they are easily seen in the stores and headline the news in e-commerce. Because cherries are not typically on someone’s shopping list, we need to be creative in how we reach shoppers. The key is making them aware that cherries are available.”
Oppy’s cherry season began yesterday, on May 2, with volume steadily increasing through the first week of August. Peak availability is looking to be May 15 through June 10 for the industry, and promotional volumes are expected to ramp up between May 10-12, with peak volume following May 15.
“The cherry industry is looking at 9 million boxes this season, and the quality looks good overall. We have also increased crop acreage for our Coral Champagnes, with Bings coming in heavy for the last half of the season,” explains Jon.
Oppy is one of the few cherry distributors with a presence in both California and the Northwest, and the company sets a strong focus on providing only cherries of the highest quality to its partners.
“Our program is built with partners who are 100 percent committed to promoting cherry season,” Jon adds. “Having an all-in, cherry-only focus enables us to pack the best quality cherries.”
Oppy has harnessed innovation to drive the cherry category even further, as the grower recently formed a dynamic partnership with esteemed Brookside and Katicich Ranch brands to create Katco Packing. The packing company utilizes state-of-the-art Unitec optical sorting machinery to increase both speed and accuracy, assuring a consistent size and quality for the fruit in the bag.
“We were very excited to launch our Katco Packing partnership at the beginning of this year, and we look forward to bringing fruit in the esteemed Brookside and Katicich labels to the market soon,” says Jon.
As Oppy brings delicious varieties to market, the company also provides online ads and social media content to help retailers draw attention to the unique cherry category.
So, what are you waiting for, buyers? Bring more life to the produce department with Oppy’s cherries, and open shoppers’ eyes to varieties that will surely keep them coming back.