Through July 6th, Northwest cherry growers have shipped 15.2 million 20-lb. boxes of fruit. That’s 21 percent more than the previous record and 124 percent more than the 15-year industry average.
Here’s the report issued yesterday by B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers:
Through yesterday, July 6th, the Northwest cherry industry has shipped 15.2 million 20-pound boxes of fruit. That’s 21% more than the industry’s previous shipment high, and 124% more than the 15-year industry average. However the fact remains that there was simply not enough fruit available to meet all of the demand for the 4th of July promotions. Americans love cherries, and it showed. Per our industry, we expect to see another 4 to 5 million boxes over the rest of the season.
Retailers in general maintained great displays of sweet cherries, and as we move past the 4th of July, should be primed to capture those Late Season sales. With the early start to the season and extended heat, the Northwest cherry season will see one of the earliest conclusions in recent history in just a few short weeks. Purchase records show that 17% of cherry buyers each year don’t make their first purchase until the Northwest late season. Their trigger? A countdown notice – letting them know that the time to squeeze the last bit of summer out of Northwest cherries is upon them.