Vice President of Marketing Howard Nager Talks Domex Superfresh Growers Cherry Season
- by Jessica Donnel
YAKIMA, WA - Just in time for the peak of cherry season, Domex Superfresh Growers® is expanding on the success of its “Sweeten Up Your Summer” #EATCHERRIES social promotion with the addition of even more consumer-focused cherry content that will be made available to retail partners.
In honor of the program, I spoke with Howard Nager, Vice President of Marketing for Domex Superfresh Growers, about the company’s cherry program and the rest of the upcoming season.
“Domex Superfresh Growers packs and ships cherries grown on almost 9000 acres. We also ship to over 50 countries around the world,” says Nager. “Domex Superfresh Growers currently is growing both conventional and organic cherries in Washington, Oregon, and Flathead Lake, MT. Some of the varieties are Bings, Sweethearts, Lapins, Chelans, Skeenas and Rainiers.”
During the 2014 cherry season, Domex was able to drive over 20 million consumer impressions to their #EATCHERRIES summer social campaign and the cherry category on their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and consumer blog.
“Domex Superfresh Growers is focused on creating more meaningful consumer connections and building a more powerful social partnership with our retail partners both in-store and online with delicious fruit and great content,” Nager said in a press release. “Through social promotions like “Sweeten Up Your Summer” and delicious recipes we are fueling an active online dialog with our consumers, generating excitement for the cherry category and helping prepare our retail partners for the changing demands of the modern marketplace.”
For 2015, Domex Superfresh Growers will again offer retail partners a suite of in-store and online “Sweeten Up Your Summer” cherry promotional materials as well as cherry social media content kits that will contain vibrant new cherry recipes, product photography, variety educational information and inspirational usage ideas.
When I asked Nager about the current cherry season, he noted a considerable decrease in volumes over last year.
“The industry is now estimating a 15% decrease in the 2015 crop, with an estimated volume of 19 to 20 million boxes (2 million of which will be Rainier cherries) down from 23 million boxes in 2014,” added Nager. “The majority of the shortage is occurring in growing regions in Oregon. We will also have a small program very late in the season, with fruit grown in Flathead Lake, MT. These cherries have created a special niche in the market place with their local address being promoted by many retailers in the region. Domex Superfresh Growers is approximately 12% of the industry supply of cherries.”
Domex has also recently implemented new electronic sorting and packing equipment in both its Selah and Wenatchee cherry packing locations that helps the company maintain great quality and sizing.
“What this will enable us to do is to pack a consistent color, size and quality pack of cherries,” Nager said. “It will be especially efficient for the equipment to select larger size fruit for retail promotions.”
The equipment includes optical sizers that ensure accurate sizing, and four camera, five view optical sorting to see a larger percentage of the cherry. Each cherry is scanned both externally and internally for a total of up to 96 photos for accurate and consistent color, then sorts them by the presence of surface blemishes and softness.
Stay tuned as AndNowUKnow continues to follow Domex Superfresh Growers’ “Sweeten Up Your Summer” campaign, and update you on everything this company has to offer.