"Northwest US cherries finally back in August"

Though a number of Northwest cherry shippers are closing up their packing houses for the season, there are still plenty of growers picking and packing some of the best fruit of the year. Mindful of the heat, growers are operating in the cooler parts of the day to make sure that the promotable volumes of fresh sweet cherries will continue to flow for the next several weeks, Northwest Cherry Growers explains:

"Some of our very latest growers expect they will pick all the way through the month of August, though volume will dip as the month progresses."

"As it stands, the 5 and 10 day averages have dropped below the half-million box mark for the first time since late June. Currently, our 10 day average is 372,455 boxes (20#) per day, and our 5-day average is 390,463 boxes daily."

"While shipment correlation has still to occur, it seems apparent that 2017 will indeed break all previous shipping records from the Northwest in terms of total volume, stretch of 500,000+ box days, and largest daily volume. Over the month of July, we shipped 15.2 million boxes of cherries, which is 529,000 boxes more than the Round 3 estimate, or within 3.5 percent."

"It is important to note that there is ample opportunity for promotions during the month of August. The cherry category remains a key driver for summer produce department profits - and this year August presents a unique opportunity for the trade! Soon the air will cool and bring Fall and Back-to-School promotions, but for the entire month of August, retailers have an opportunity to boost their sales with the Number One Dollar per Square Foot Item in their produce department."

"Cherry quality in the box is finishing on a high note as size and pressure are peaking for the season. Displays are key for the fruit to be on the radar of late-season buyers and impulse-purchasers alike! Sales records show that 1 out of 7 cherry buyers 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."

"In the U.S., Northwest cherries were the number one advertised commodity in produce this July, but have given up the lead this past week to the grape category. With 7 percent of all fruit ads, fresh cherries are currently 4th in the nation with over 15,000 stores on ad. Given the difference in crop timing, it's not surprising to see that's 14,000 more stores than the same period last year. Rainier volume has fallen below the sustained volume typically needed for wide circular ad support, but our Regional Representatives continue to send in photos of displays from coast to coast."
"What country will be our top export market in 2017? Demand in the export markets has remained steady. This year there is a volume battle that is emerging between Canada and China! Both countries have absorbed over 2 million 20 lb. equivalent boxes this year - both countries are seeing record volume." 

"Likewise, South Korea has been a shining star this season and is quickly heading toward 1 million boxes imported. As we have ample volumes of fruit into the month of August, the export markets are focused on taking advantage of another month of NW Cherries."

source: mailchi.mp

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