Fans eagerly anticipate the beginning of cherry season each year, so retailers are wise to advertise the fruit as soon as possible.
Advertising cherries can give a retailer a competitive advantage.
“I think people will switch to a different store for a cherry purchase if you have a good enough special,” says Mac Riggan, marketing director for Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, Wash.
During the peak of the season, cherries are prominently placed in South Bend, Ind.-based Martin’s Supermarkets’ 21 stores, says Ed Osowski, director of produce.
“We use them as a major draw,” Osowski says.
Osowski says his stores last year ran a monthlong promotion, with cherries on ad every week during the peak of the season. The chain even advertises cherries during the off-peak period. Osowski says shoppers who buy cherries also buy more of other types of produce.
“We find the cherry consumer is the best produce consumer,” Osowski says.
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James Michael, promotions director for Northwest Cherry Growers, Yakima, Wash., says a 2010 study sponsored by the agency found that buyers of dark sweet cherries spend an average of $28 more per ring compared with shoppers who don’t buy cherries. Rainier cherry buyers spend an average of $42 more.
“Those are the consumers retailers need,” Michael says.
Go big with cherries
“The key to selling cherries is display space,” says Bob Mast, vice president of marketing and food safety for Columbia Marketing International Corp., Wenatchee, Wash. “Ads get cherries moving and get a jump-start on the season, but getting them up front and center in refrigerated displays with frequent rotation is key.”