Good Fruit Grower

October 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 39

Cherries Marketing Cherry sales sizzle in China Online cherry sales in China were the highlight of a season that growers, marketers, and retailers would rather forget. by Geraldine Warner C hina put the sizzle in the 2013 Northwest cherry season, which otherwise was more of a fizzle. Washington State growers lost crops to rain, marketers lost orders, and retailers lost their patience and bumped up their prices. Promotions had to be cancelled in both the domestic and export markets. As the last of the cherries trickled to market in mid- August, the tally was 14.6 million boxes—5 million less than forecast, 10 million boxes down from last year's record crop, and perhaps 15 million boxes less than the potential production. The only records set this season involved the weather. The first two weeks of May were the hottest in 20 years, while the last two weeks in May were the coldest and wettest in 20 years. After almost daily downpours in late May and early June, the weather turned exceptionally hot again, causing further problems, B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, reported to his board members in August. China "It's been a great success for us." A lone bright spot was China, and even there —Keith Hu the outlook seemed dim at first because of quality problems and high prices. Keith Hu, director of international operations at Northwest Cherry Growers, said U.S. cherries faced competition in the Guangzhou market alongside cherries from Spain, Turkey, and Italy. Fortuitously, Hu was contacted by a representative from, a large e-commerce platform in China, who said they were expanding their sales of fresh foods and wanted to promote Northwest cherries. Hu said the company has a strong public relations team. is similar to but doesn't hold any inventory, Hu said. The fruit is handled by a third party. ran two online cherry promotions, which were part of its presale experiment to help U.S. businesses gauge the interest of Chinese consumers before the products are shipped. Customers pay a small deposit for items that will be delivered later. In this case, the cherries were sold before they were picked, which allowed U.S. companies to ship only products that had been ordered, improving efficiency and reducing costs. 24 OCTOBER 2013 Good Fruit Grower

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - October 2013