Stemilt primed for Memorial Day cherry ads
Stemilt’s cherry season kicks off this week in California and all eyes are on the crop’s upcoming promotional window and the fast-approaching Memorial Day holiday. The 2021 California crop projects more promotable volume compared to last year’s smaller crop, with good sizing and flavors predicted between now and mid-June.
Brianna Shales, Stemilt's marketing director, suggests retailers look to Stemilt’s cherries for the ultimate kick off to summer by planning a promotion leading up to Memorial Day on May 31. Setting a high cherry quality standard and delighting consumers during the initial push will encourage repeat purchases all season long.
“Cherry season moves quickly and as a high-ring item, retailers want to take advantage of every opportunity to promote them,” said Shales. “Cherries are a big driver for the produce department and this year’s larger California crop is a great way to build momentum for the long season ahead.”
Stemilt’s cherry season started off with strong qualities, classic ruby colors, and medium-sized fruits. The company will move into harvesting varieties like Tulares, Hazels and Coral in the coming weeks to load for Memorial Day promos. Stemilt packs California cherries in catch-weight bags and clamshells.
“Depending on location, retailers should start loading as early as May 14,” said Shales. “However, the heaviest loading period will begin on May 18 through May 22. With the way that things are currently going, the supply and demand almost lines up perfectly with Memorial Day availability.”
Volumes are projected to continue past Memorial Day for Stemilt in California, with the latest orchards that deliver 5 River Islands hand-picked cherries coming off the tree around June 8. This will coincide with Stemilt’s cherry harvest start in Washington state, making the weeks following Memorial Day a big time for cherries at retail.
“It’s important to set a great tone with quality cherries from California because nearly 75 percent of cherry purchases are driven by impulse,” said Shales. “Delight consumers with that first purchase of Cherries and they will continue to seek out that quality from you post-holiday, giving the category great momentum heading into the first weeks of June.”