Eek of the Week: Cherry Marketing Update

leslie land bowl-of-cherries

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
merchandising.”

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.


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1 Comment »

  • Kim Martin Said,

    Hi, I was looking got brandied cherries and I came upon your site. We have a cherry orchard and would be happy to sell you 20# boxes/$20. We live in Monmouth/Independence OR. All said though we are out for the year, but if you want to get some next year let me know. We have Vans, royale annes and white golds. Thanks for the recipe!

    Kim

    Welcome, Kim
    And thanks so much for the offer! Very tempting. Now all I have to do is remember when next season rolls around; please don’t hesitate to remind me when it’s ordering time. I don’t think I’ve ever had ‘White Gold.”
    Good luck with your brandying and may the orchard thrive!

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