CMI Orchards Estimates Slightly Early Cherry Season; Bringing New Offerings for American Dream and Skylar Rae®
WENATCHEE, WA - We are ready to bid farewell to winter weather and look forward to the treats of summer. Nothing signals that oncoming transition like the rumbles of preparation for the season’s Northwest cherry harvest.
CMI Orchards shared that current reports project an early kick-off this year, possibly 7 to 10 days ahead of the typical start date, placing harvest between the end of May and beginning of June.
The key to this adjustment, according to the team’s Northwest Cherry report, is that it will line up nicely with California’s season, helping to mitigate supply gaps for one of consumers’ favorite stonefruit.
“The positives for a slightly early start is that the peak volume of our crop should align nicely with 4th of July promotions, meaning that we’ll have plenty of cherries coming off the trees in perfect timing for retailers to promote, build big displays, and capture those huge incremental sales dollars that cherries deliver to the produce category,” Rochelle Bohm, Brand Manager, shares with me.
Additionally, CMI’s cherry offering will receive an extra boost as the grower invests even further into its quality. Its Columbia Fruit warehouse is installing a new optical sorting line for Red and Rainier cherries this year, and Rochelle promises a near-immediate return.
“The new optical sorting line that is being installed at Columbia Fruit Packers, the Unitec Cherry Vision 3.0, is a masterpiece in quality control,” she explains. “This technology allows for better sorting of color, pressure, and defects to ensure even more precision in grade packouts. This will benefit everyone through the supply chain, from our growers who strive to deliver the highest quality fruit possible, to our retail partners who can rest assured they are getting the very best quality we can deliver.”
Speaking of the buy-side, retailers can also anticipate a few new tools from the grower for both the popular Skylar Rae® brand and the patriotic American Dream program.
American Dream, which gives back to military families and veteran groups across the country, has several new additions this year, including:
- A new 2-box shipper display
- A new 2.25 lb red cherry pouch bag
- A new 1.25 lb Rainier cherry pouch bags
- A new 1 lb clamshell
“CMI is especially well-positioned for Independence Day promotions with our American Dream program, which includes new high-graphic pouch bags, eye-catching display cartons that can be stacked to create a patriotic billboard, and we’re even launching a new 2-box shipper display this year so that retailers can position cherries in high-traffic areas to capture even more of those important impulse purchases,” Rochelle says.
As for Skylar Rae, buyers will see a new 2-box shipper, adding even more capabilities to drive sales at the register.
Skylar Rae, in particular, offers the added value of having limited availability to trigger those impulse buys. These cherries are running earlier this year due to a mild winter, with an anticipated June 8 start date. This should put peak volume from June 15 to 30, with the likelihood of a larger crop size, ideal for those summer cherry promotions.
With much still to look forward to as fresh produce and its purveyors continue to serve a high-demand public, AndNowUKnow will ensure you are up to date on all the latest.