Cheer for cherries - The Packer

Cheer for cherries

04/03/2012 12:42:00 AM
Tom Burfield

It’s hard to go wrong promoting cherries during the summer.

According to a 2009 survey, cherries, one of the few remaining seasonal fruits, were the No. 1 produce item in dollar sales per square foot during July, says James Michael, promotion director for Northwest Cherry Growers, Yakima, Wash.

Adhering to a few time-tested merchandising suggestions will almost guarantee good returns.

For example, the more cherries you put out, the more you’ll sell, says Bob Mast, vice president of marketing and food safety for Columbia Marketing International Corp., Wenatchee, Wash.

“The secret to strong cherry sales is display size,” he says.

Pricing is important, too

Focus on $2 as “the magic number” to move the most volume, says Loren Queen, marketing and communications manager for Domex Super Fresh Growers, Yakima.
And don’t just mirror last year’s promotion calendar, advises Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee.

“The crop moves with weather, and you can miss great opportunities,” he says.

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Waiting for rainier    

Residents of the Pacific Northwest look forward to rainier and other locally grown cherries each summer, but from late May until local fruit arrives in early July, they’ll snap up California product, says Lee Reynolds, director of produce for the 28-store Bellingham, Wash.-based Haggen Inc. chain.

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