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Retail jumping on organic opportunities with Stemilt Artisan Organics cherries

It’s go time for organic dark-sweet cherries, according to Stemilt Growers. The Wenatchee, WA-based grower-shipper has increased its share of Artisan Organics cherries in June, making it possible for a pre-Fourth of July organic promotion. Stemilt will have continuous supplies of organic dark-sweet cherries now through July.Organic-Dark-Sweet-Cherries-pouch

“Our organic dark-sweet cherry crop is up 25 percent year-over-year,” said Brianna Shales, Stemilt communications manager. “This intentional increase will help retailers carry Artisan Organics dark-sweet cherries continuously for two months this summer to help grow their organic category.”

Stemilt recommends four promotion weeks with Artisan Organics dark-sweet cherries this season, with the first two weeks available for loading now. Retailers can promote with ads the week of June 18 or June 25. Organic Chelan and Bing are the primary varieties available from Stemilt in June.

“Harvest is happening daily now in Washington state, and the quality of this year’s Artisan Organics cherries is impressive,” said Shales. “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.”

In early July, Stemilt’s organic cherry harvest begins on the infamous Stemilt Hill locale above Wenatchee, WA. Fourth-generation cherry grower and past Organic Trade Association organic grower of year Kyle Mathison is well-known for growing large, firm and dessert-flavored Artisan Organics cherries. Skeena is a primary dark-sweet cherry variety that he grows organically. Retailers can plan to load Artisan Organics cherries the weeks of July 9 and 16 for back-to-back organic cherry ads July 16-23.

“The second promotional push for organic dark-sweet cherries follows the big July 4th cherry 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.

A Stemilt Fruit Tracker analysis of Nielsen scan data of the entire cherry season from 2015-17 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,” said Shales. “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 Artisan Organics dark-sweet cherries will see the most promotional opportunities this season, retailers can also feature organic Rainier cherries in July ads. National Rainier Cherry Day is on July 11 and is an ideal time to promote Artisan Organics Rainier cherries in stores.

Stemilt packs organic Rainier cherries on an electronic line engineered specifically for the yellow-hued fruits. Organic dark-sweet cherries are also packed on an optical line. There are a variety of pack types for Stemilt’s organic cherries, including pouch bags and clamshells. Artisan Organics is Stemilt’s brand and label for organic fruits.

Stemilt has a long history of growing fruit organically, having converted its first orchards to organic back in 1989. Today, the company focuses on growing organic fruits for flavor.

“Organic shoppers are paying a premium for products, and have come to expect a great eating experience,” said Shales. “Flavor and quality is exactly what they will find in this year’s Artisan Organics cherry crop, so retailers should promote with confidence.”