Stemilt Artisan Organics™ Cherries Offer Organic Opportunities for Retail
- by Kayla Webb
WENATCHEE, WA - After increasing its share of Artisan Organics™ cherries in June, Wenatchee, Washington-based Stemilt Growers is pulling out all the stops to make a continuous supply of organic dark-sweet cherries a hit for a pre-July 4th organic promotion.
Beginning in July, Stemilt’s organic cherry harvest will kick off on the Stemilt Hill locale above Wenatchee, with growers like Kyle Mathison, fourth generation cherry grower and past Organic Trade Association Organic Grower of the Year, gearing up to grow large, firm, and dessert-flavored Artisan Organics™ cherries like the Skeena, a dark-sweet cherry variety.
“Our organic dark-sweet cherry crop is up 25 percent year-over-year. This intentional increase will help retailers carry Artisan Organics dark-sweet cherries continuously for two months this summer to help grow their organic category,” said Communications Manager Brianna Shales. “Harvest is happening daily now in Washington State, and the quality of this year’s Artisan Organics cherries is impressive. We’re seeing high colors on both organic dark-sweets and organic Rainiers, with good sizing and excellent flavors. Retailers will be able to impress shoppers with quality and flavor in this first promotion to drive repeat purchases as the season progresses.”
Stemilt recommends four promotion weeks with back-to-back ads for Artisan Organics dark-sweet cherries this season, including the first two weeks available for loading now for the weeks of June 18th and June 25th, and then plan to load again the weeks of July 9th and 16th. Stemilt offers organic Chelan and Bing varieties in June as well.
“The second promotional push for organic, dark-sweet cherries, follows the big July 4th ad run and will allow retailers to meet their organic shoppers’ demands for high-quality organic summer fruits, and also drive impulse sales with the occasional organic shopper,” said Shales. “Skeena is known for its large size, beautiful dark coloring, and incredible high sugar and acid levels.”
According to a press release, a Stemilt Fruit Tracker™ analysis of Nielsen scan data of the entire cherry season from 2015-2017 shows that organic cherries make up a small but growing percentage of cherry volume sold in the U.S.
“The organic category is growing, and organic cherry availability is growing right with it,” Shales shared. “Taking advantage of extra promotion opportunities on Artisan Organics cherries with competitive ads is in line with many retail plans this summer. It’s a great year to go bigger on promotions to grow your cherry and organic categories.”
While Stemilt is pushing Artisan Organics dark-sweet cherries this season, Stemilt also suggests retailers feature organic Rainier cherries in July ads, as National Rainier Cherry Day is July 11th.
Specifically, Stemilt packs organic Rainier cherries on an electronic line engineered to handle the yellow-hued fruit, while organic dark sweet cherries are packed on an optical line, and offered in pouch bags, clamshells, and more.
“Organic shoppers are paying a premium for products, and have come to expect a great eating experience,” concluded Shales. “Flavor and quality is exactly what they will find in this year’s Artisan Organics™ cherry crop, so retailers should promote with confidence."
After converting its first orchards to organic back in 1989, Stemilt continues to expand its organic roots by focusing on growing different organic fruits.
For more ways to seize perfect promotional opportunities, stick with us at AndNowUKnow for the latest produce happenings.