Eek of the Week: Cherry Marketing Update
After writing the recent post on making brandied cherries – and not making cherry preserves now that the fruit can’t be bought in bulk, I tried to find out WHY the bulk boxes went away.
But now that I know, I kind of wish I hadn’t asked. Here’s the lowdown from Lynn Long, a cherry expert at Oregon State University Extension:
” Supermarkets were the catalyst to this change. It used to be easy for
the packing houses; put 20 pounds of cherries in a box and ship it off.
But supermarkets were concerned about the loss that occurred when people
sorted through the cherries looking for the perfect fruit. In 1996 90%
of the cherries from the Pacific Northwest were sent in bulk, loose fill
boxes and 10% in consumer packs. By 2003 it was 60% bulk and 40%
consumer pack. Now it is almost 100% consumer pack, either loose fill
bags or clam shells.
In a Northwest Cherry Growers study conducted among 1000 consumers 56%
of the respondents said that they prefer purchasing their cherries in
bags, 40% prefer clam shells and only 4% preferred bulk style
I asked Mr. Long what on earth was possessing these people. He quite sensibly suggested I contact the Cherry Growers, whose study it was. But then I didn’t have the heart.