(CORRECTED May 28) YAKIMA, Wash. — Domex Superfresh Growers will again promote cherries with a social media photo contest.
Called “Sweeten Up Your Summer,” the contest calls on shoppers to post a picture with cherries, accompanied with the hashtag #eatcherries, said Loren Queen, communications manager for Domex Superfresh.
The contest was run on Instagram last year, but this year will expand to other social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, Queen said.
Participants in the contest post a picture with cherries and hashtag it with #eatcherries and @superfresh. Winning entries will receive price money, Queen said.
The company also will make a concerted effort to communicate with food bloggers and recipe developers to help publicize the contest with #eatcherries @superfreshgrowers.
“You want to engage consumers, and as we engage consumers we try to make sure we engage consumer influencers as well,” Queen said.
Point-of-sale information about the contest will also be offered at retail, he said.
Research has indicated perhaps 50% of consumers don’t purchase cherries, which Queen said leaves a lot of room for growth in the number of cherry consumers.
Domex Superfresh will also use a social media tool from the MJR Creative Group to monitor consumer conversations about cherries, he said. The tool can help reveal what consumers are saying about cherries on a regional and national level.
Cherry harvest for Domex Superfresh should begin the first few days of June, Queen said, which is ahead of last year by nearly a week.
Domex Superfresh Growers has orchards in Oregon, throughout Washington growing regions and in Flathead Lake Valley in Montana.
Overall cherry crop volume for Domex Superfresh should be 30% higher than 2013.
Domex Superfresh typically accounts for about 15% of the cherry crop, and Queen said the company’s volume should be up about 30% compared with 2013.
Queen said rainier cherries account for about 10% of the company’s cherry volume. The strawberry cherry, a heavily blushed variety, will increase in volume this year. Dark sweet cherries should come on with volume June 14 and continue at full capacity to about July 25.
Meanwhile, rainier cherries should start about June 25, with July 11 designated as the National Rainier Cherry Day. Rainier cherries will finish up around July 20, with Domex expected to be out by July 10, Queen said.
Queen said the marketer also offers organic cherries, both dark sweets and rainiers.
Note on correction: The original story incorrectly identified the name of the social media photo contest.