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This past week, the Cherry Marketing Institute held its 22nd annual meeting in Traverse City, Michigan. We presented a report to the industry detailing the marketing results from 2010, as well as plans for 2011. It has been an amazing year as the “Red Recovery Routine” worked well for us in the marathons that were held across the country. Our expert spokespeople did a great job in both traditional media and social media. The cherry industry jumped on social media early, and it has been a great new tool that is here to stay. Who would have ever thought that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs would be the norm today!

The year 2011 has rolled out with a bang and CMI is about to launch new trade advertising. This trade advertising will target ingredient buys and encourage them to take another look at tart cherries. Today, red tart cherries are viewed as one of America’s hottest new Superfruits and are grown right here in our backyard. They are on trend and taste great, making them the fruit of choice in trail mixes, muffins, scones and, of course, this is the year of the cherry pie.

Some predict pie will be the top food trend in 2011! These are new versions of pie with upscale bakeries in the lead promoting pies over cakes and hosting happy hour with “pie shooters” (pie served in a shot glass). According to NPD Group, Americans ordered 722 million servings of pie at restaurants last year, an increase of 12 million slices over 2009. Great opportunities and a case in point that cherries are hot and on trend both in the Superfruit arena as well as in traditional baking.