California cherry business updates

04/21/2010 03:41:11 PM
Andy Nelson

Flavor Tree adds another new variety, brands Sequoia bags

Flavor Tree Fruit Co., Hanford, Calif., which markets fruit for Hanford-based Warmerdam Pack-ing LLC, will roll out another new cherry variety for wide scale distri-bution this season, said Maurice Cameron, the company’s president.

The company’s proprietary Yosemite variety was shipped mostly on a test basis last season, Cameron said.
 
“This is the first year we’ll have good commercial volume,” he said.

The Yosemite follows the Sequoia, another proprietary variety also now in major production, Cameron said.

The Yosemite is a dark cherry with color resembling mahogany, Cameron said. It’s very sweet, firm and rain-resistant, he said.

“We should get at least 20 brix and go up from there,” he said. 

Also new at Flavor Tree for this season, the company will sell Sequoias in bags with the Sequoia name and a graphic on them, Cameron said.

It’s the first time the company has branded a cherry bag.

Green Giant-branded California cherries get promotion from test run to full program

In 2009, Fridley, Minn.-based Roland Marketing eased its way into its brand new Green Giant-branded California cherry deal, said Joan Tabak, Roland’s sales manager.

“We took it slow, wanted to make sure all the kinks were worked out before we introduced it on a big scale,” Tabak said. “It was a test year.”

And it was a big success, she said. As a result, the company has pulled out the stops in 2010 for a full program set to kick off in the last week of April, Tabak said.

The Green Giant California cherry program flowed naturally out of the company’s apple business, Tabak said.

“We found that a lot of people we were working with on apples asked for cherries,” she said.

Green Giant added California and Michigan apples to supplement its Washington apple business, she said. And the company has a Wash-ington cherry deal, another reason the creation of a California cherry program was what Tabak was an easy decision.

“Apples and cherries are two peas in a pod out of Washington,” she said. “As we grew our apple program, it seemed logical to add California cherries.”

Scattaglia to pack in Sun Disk label

For the first time, Traver, Calif.-based Scattaglia Grower Shippers plans to ship cherries under its own Sun Disk label, said Dave Parker, the company’s marketing director.

Scattaglia will continue to pack under the Brookside label also, Parker said. The company has a longtime relationship with the Brookside brand, he said, one that will not change.

The decision to pack under the Sun Disk label reflects a diversifi-cation of Scattaglia’s cherry sourcing, Parker said.

“We’ve developed new sources of fruit,” he said. 

Stemilt steps up organic Sequoia production

Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers Inc. expects to ship its new Sequoia organic cherries from California on a wide basis this season, said Roger Pepperl, the company’s marketing director.

“We had it last year, but this is the year it will really appear on the market,” he said.

The Sequoia is a proprietary variety owned by Hanford, Calif.-based Warmerdam Packing LLC. Stemilt bought the rights to ship organic Sequoias.

Volumes will begin peaking in mid-May, Pepperl said. Stemilt also will ship organic bings and sweethearts from California this season.

Stemilt expects to increase its organic California production significantly this season, from about 17,000 to 18,000 cases to 70,000 to 80,000 cases, Pepperl said. That would give it about 40% of the organic California cherry deal, he said.
 



Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left

Join the conversation - sign up for FREE today!
FeedWind
Feedback Form
Leads to Insight