Apr 4, 2023
CMI prepares for sweet cherry season

Northwest cherries deliver an intense, extremely profitable season and there’s only a three-month window left to plan promotions and reserve volume.

Bolster sales from every direction with the freshest selections of premium cherries, high-graphic displays, and exciting promotional programs. CMI Orchards dives into this fruitful time of year with a cherry sales guide.

With the largest selection of specialty cherries, along with staples like conventional and organic Red and Rainier, CMI is uniquely positioned to take this sizzling-sweet cherry season head-on, Joel Hewitt, domestic sales and organics manager, said in a news release.

“From coveted fan-favorites like Red and Rainier to deluxe specialty varieties like Skylar Rae and Strawberry Cherries, we’ve got it all,” Hewitt said in the release. “Cherry season offers the most attractive window of the year for sales. Savvy retailers who get ahead of the game see their sales skyrocket, impacting total produce sales for the year.”

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Danelle Huber, senior marketing manager, said that the trick to making sure cherry season isn’t just a flash in the pan is capitalizing on consumers’ anticipation with a multi-pronged approach.

“Our programs take sales to the next level by curating a shopping experience that has customers coming back for more,” Huber said in the release. “Displays typically drive up to 30% more sales in-store. When you pair that with cherries — the magical fruit that inspires seasonal excitement year over year — it’s really the dreamiest match-up you could ask for.”

Engaging shoppers in multiple ways is crucial, Huber said, because cherries are an impulse buy. They’re the sort of item that gets picked up on a shopper’s way through the store, or during their online shopping experience.

“A study conducted by Harvard Business Review and a major U.S. retail company found 73% of customers use multiple channels throughout their shopping journey, while only 7% were exclusive online shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers,” Huber said in the release.

Huber said retailers should offer a range of channels, such as digital ads, in-store displays and mobile app information to appeal to customers who prefer different methods of shopping to ensure capturing impulse purchases from every angle.

“The window for success is so tight during this season that we highly recommend retailers stay proactive and make sure they have secondary displays on hand,” she said in the release.

Hewitt said that while it’s still too early to get an accurate sense of what the season holds, there are solid expectations of a good, healthy crop, which retailers can advertise through the majority of the summer.

“Due to challenging weather conditions, last year’s cherry crop was down,” Hewitt said in the release, “but this year we’re optimistic that retailers are going to get more bang for their buck on advertising throughout the season.”

Top photo: American Dream, one of CMI Orchards’ cherry programs, is popular for Fourth of July promotions. Photo: CMI Orchards


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