CMI’s Northwest cherry harvest under way

From The Produce News | 14 June 2023

Overview of cherries from Northwest in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on June 14, 2023. 

With recent favorable weather, CMI Orchards sees a promising cherry season ahead, boosting the company’s already stellar varietal selection.

Joel Hewitt, CMI’s domestic sales and organics manager, keeps a vigilant eye on the harvest season in anticipation of this exciting time. “The quality is really excellent this year,” said Hewitt. “In comparison to last year, where our tonnage was affected by complicated weather, we’re expecting a much brighter outcome with excellent quality from the color and condition to exceptional eating experience.”

Hewitt said CMI will peak the last week of June through the entire month of July, tapering off at the end of August. The latest crop update shows potential for a 75 percent harvest increase over 2022, primarily in red cherries. “These forecasted volumes mean more cherries for all our customers, domestic and export, offering a greater ability to meet the strong demand for Northwest cherries in all the countries we normally ship to,” he said.

“CMI carries the largest varietal selection of cherries available in the market today,” said Rochelle Bohm, CMI’s vice president of marketing. “This, coupled with high-graphic point-of-sale materials and omnichannel support, means we’re uniquely positioned to not only set retailers up to drive their sales but also capture those impulse purchases that cherries inspire year-over-year.”

cherry volumes by origin 1

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Some of CMI’s biggest stars this summer include highly coveted branded conventional options Strawberry Cherries and Skylar Rae cherries, as well as the XXL Cherries and American Dream programs.

“Skylar Rae is by far the sweetest cherry you’ll ever eat with a very unusual and much-craved ‘crunch’ when you bite into their sweet flesh,” said Bohm. “And Strawberry Cherries’ darling freckles with hints of fresh summer strawberries have people waiting for their return every single year.”

CMI’s premier, super-sweet and juicy jumbo-sized cherry program — XXL Cherries — proves that bigger is better, while American Dream is a patriotic, feel-good program that gives back as much as it gets, delivering a platform for promotions aligned with key patriotic holidays and BBQ season. Both programs, said Bohm, feature high-graphic, high-impact packaging designs perfectly crafted to capture sales and bring repeat customers back time and time again.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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