Cherries in the COVID-19 World Pt 2

Cherries in the COVID-19 World Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. As cherry season draws closer, worries over getting the product to market continues to be a moving target.

On the bright side, at least for now, Northwest Cherry Growers President BJ Thurlby says foreign markets show some signs of improvement …

THURLBY … “The good news is, we sell a lot of cherries to Korea and Korea has actually flattened their curve with corona really quickly and squashed this thing. I was on a conference call with some retailers from Korea last week and they said produce sales are back to about 80% of normal and they’re doing demos again already. People are heading out to restaurants or are going to the stores. So, in some of these countries it looks like life may be resuming back to more of a normalcy, but we’ll see.”

Back at home in the retail market, Thurlby says the challenge is putting cherries front of mind …

THURLBY … “One of the big things here in the domestic market, that’s U.S. and Canada, is going to be for us to work with the retailers just to make sure cherries are on their merchandising advertising planner.”

But, Thurlby says the medium for ads is changing too …

THURLBY … “You know, something we’ve actually been working on the last two or three years, but it’s becoming much more of a utilized medium for picking up your food is by doing the online ordering. So, that’s something new, and so we’re incentivizing very heavily for retailers that have an online order platform, we’d like to see our cherries being advertised there. So, that’s a big push for us this year. It’s a little bit different than we’ve done in the past.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … on how this year’s crop is looking.

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