Stemilt Focuses on Kyle’s Pick® Cherries to Help Drive 16 Million Cherry Boxes
- by Jordan Okumura
WENATCHEE, WA - Kyle’s Pick™, Stemilt’s signature program for premium cherries, is making its return with a host of large sized fruit presenting dessert flavors for retailers this season.
Built around flavor and a dessert eating experience, Kyle’s Pick™ offers premium cherry varieties like Skeena, Stemilt Hill Bings, Sweetheart, and Staccato®, and its largest sized fruit with high firmness, in specially marked Kyle’s Pick™ pouch bags.
Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director at Stemilt, briefly discussed what Skeena cherries can bring to the retail aisles.
“Stemilt is the leading producer of Skeena cherries in Washington State and we are strategically planting more,” said Pepperl. “This firm, deep red, large-sized and high-flavored cherry is the best variety available during this timeframe, and one that will deliver a great eating experience, and with it, sales in the cherry category.”
Pepperl went on to say that the Northwest cherry crop has been in a “demand exceeds supply situation throughout June” and that the industry anticipates a smaller crop of about 16 million boxes (20# equivalent), according to a press release.
“Merchandising is key during the cherry peak and promoting quality is the best way to differentiate your cherry program and help consumers make the impulse purchase decision that cherries are. This is what Kyle’s Pick is all about,” said Pepperl.
Using state-of-the-art electronic packing lines with high-definition camera imaging and computer software, Stemilt digitally sizes and sorts cherries based on set firmness, size, and sugar level standards.
Stemilt will pack Kyle’s Pick cherries until late July when it transitions to its high-elevation cherry package, called A Half Mile Closer to the Moon™ cherries.
“Retailers who promote size and dessert flavors will experience the best results during this unique Northwest cherry season, which is both early and in high demand,” Pepperl explained. “Stemilt’s signature late-season cherry programs, Kyle’s Pick and Half Mile Closer to the Moon, deliver premium quality fruit and the stories to drive impulse and repeat sales.”
This is the third season Kyle’s Pick cherries have been available. Built around quality-first fruit, the program is named after Stemilt Co-Owner and fourth generation cherry grower Kyle Mathison.