CMI Orchards' Rochelle Bohm Discusses Upcoming Cherry Season
WENATCHEE, WA - In my mind, the produce aisle serves as a barometer of sorts, informing shoppers about the seasons and the weather, and domestic cherries on display point strongly to summer approaching. As the seasons shift here in the Northern Hemisphere, I got in touch with Rochelle Bohm, Brand Manager for CMI Orchards, to see what the expected cherry forecast will be for both buyers and consumers this season.
“For retailers, it’s important to maintain off-shelf displays with fresh product in key high-traffic areas to maximize impulse purchases,” Rochelle advises. “Greatly consider adding premium varieties and brands to the product mix to include organics, Rainier, Strawberry, and Skylar Rae® cherries. You can also capture incremental sales by offering a super-premium jumbo program, like our XXL cherries.”
CMI is launching the XXL cherry program this year for the domestic market. According to Rochelle, they are big, bold, and bursting with flavor, giving CMI’s buy-side partners a product that’s easy to upsell, and shoppers an exciting new offering that keeps them coming back for more.
In addition to its new program, CMI is also part of the exclusive Skylar Rae partnership and sells and markets Strawberry cherries, offering one of the largest selections of branded cherries. The grower offers its products in everything from 1 to 4 lb clamshells, 1 to 4 lb top seals, pouch bags, and this year, CMI will offer 1 and 2 lb fiber top seal for its organics.
While there is still a few weeks before the season officially kicks off, CMI is expecting an early June start for its Northwest cherry crops.
“We are running 6–7 days later than last year, based on our first round of projections,” explains Rochelle. “This would create a peak near June 25, and a later, high-volume peak on July 9. But there is still considerable time between now and then that could affect the timing—you never know with Mother Nature.”
With no significant weather events ahead and timing so far on track, CMI is predicting a normal outlook on the season, with an end date and peak sizing estimates still to come.
As the actual barometer shifts to reveal warmer days to come, get ahead of your seasonal merchandising strategy by making plans to display CMI’s cherries.