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Stemilt’s cherry season kicks off

WENATCHEE, Wash. – Stemilt’s BB #:113654 World Famous cherry season kicks off this week in California and all eyes are on the crop’s upcoming promotional window and the fast-approaching Memorial Day holiday.

The 2021 California crop projects more promotable volume compared to last year’s smaller crop, with good sizing and flavors predicted between now and mid-June.

Stemilt marketing director, Brianna Shales, suggests retailers look to Stemilt’s World Famous cherries for the ultimate kick off to summer by planning a promotion leading up to Memorial Day on May 31st. Setting a high cherry quality standard and delighting consumers during the initial push will encourage repeat purchases all season long.

“Cherry season moves quickly and as a high-ring item, retailers want to take advantage of every opportunity to promote them,” explains Shales. “Cherries are a big driver for the produce department and this year’s larger California crop is a great way to build momentum for the long season ahead.”

Stemilt’s World Famous cherry season started off with strong qualities, classic ruby colors, and medium-sized fruits. The company will move into harvesting varieties like Tulares, Hazels, and Coral in the coming weeks to load for Memorial Day promos. Stemilt packs California cherries in catch-weight bags and clamshells.

“Depending on location, retailers should start loading as early as May 14,” says Shales. “However, the heaviest loading period will begin on May 18 through May 22. With the way that things are currently going, the supply and demand almost lines up perfectly with Memorial Day availability.”

Volumes are projected to continue past Memorial Day for Stemilt in California, with the latest orchards that deliver 5 River Islands hand-picked cherries coming off the tree around June 8. This will coincide with Stemilt’s cherry harvest start in Washington State, making the weeks following Memorial Day a big time for cherries at retail.

“It’s important to set a great tone with quality cherries from California because nearly 75 percent of cherry purchases are driven by impulse,” states Shales. “Delight consumers with that first purchase of World Famous Cherries and they will continue to seek out that quality from you post-holiday, giving the category great momentum heading into the first weeks of June.”

About Stemilt

Stemilt is a family-owned grower, packer, and shipper of tree fruit. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to cultivate people and delight consumers through excellence with its World Famous Fruits. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruits, and a key supplier of apples and pears. The company stewards an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business through its Responsible Choice program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information about Stemilt, visit