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   Skeena Cherries: When Prestigious Meets Produce
by Stemilt Growers
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 8:55AM EDT

WENATCHEE, Wash. – Fill your consumer’s shopping carts and stomachs with one of the most prestigious cherries on the market: Skeena cherries. Skeena cherries, a variety from Canada, is harvesting now and the main contributor to one of Stemilt’s premium cherry programs, Kyle’s Pick®.

“Skeena is an excellent variety to be the backbone of the Kyle’s Pick® program,” states Tate Mathison, sales director at Stemilt and son of Kyle Mathison, the 4th generation cherry grower who inspired Kyle’s Pick®. “It is a beautiful cherry that comes from British Columbia that consistently meets the large size and high quality parameters of the Kyle’s Pick® program.”

Cherry King Kyle Mathison is a fourth-generation grower who constantly seeks out the newest and best varieties to include under the Stemilt World Famous brand. Kyle’s Pick® has specific quality standards that cherries need to meet before they leave Stemilt’s packing facility; standards he set himself. Premium varieties that fit Kyle’s Pick standards include Skeena, Sweetheart and Bing.

“Skeena is a big, dark and really firm variety making it a top contender for Kyle’s Pick®,” states Tate Mathison. “They are peaking at 9 to 9½ row and are coming off the trees with a beautiful deep, dark purple color that really pops on the shelves.”

Kyle Mathison grows on Stemilt Hill near Wenatchee, WA in a climate truly unique to other cherry growing regions. The Hill has its own microclimate that entraps cool night air to offer protection from the summer heat allowing the trees to flourish and provide plenty of sugars to the cherries. This unique climate has contributed to the success of growing the Skeena variety.

“The Skeena variety acts and responds a little differently than other varieties we grow as it does well in the heat,” says Tate Mathison. “They enjoy a dry climate that is hot making the Hill the best place in the world to grow.”

Stemilt is currently harvesting Kyle’s Pick® cherries and retailers can load the program through early August. Kyle’s Pick® is available in random-weight pouch bags as well as 1lb. and 2lb. clamshells. Every package is stamped with the Kyle’s Pick® emblem, giving consumers Kyle’s sign of approval. Retailers can promote this program by using grower-centric cherry displays (featuring both Kyle and Tate Mathison) in heavy traffic areas. The easy-to-assemble pop-up displays can also be used in secondary locations to drive impulse sales.

Stemilt will transition from Kyle’s Pick® into their high-elevation cherries called A Half Mile Closer to the Moon® cherries starting mid-August. With the longest cherry season in the business, Stemilt is encouraging retailers to continue planning cherry promotions well into August to end the season strong.

“The Kyle’s Pick® program is a great way to keep your sales elevated during the summer months,” says Tate Mathison. “And the Skeena variety is a great supporter of that.”

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About Stemilt

Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is the leading shipper of sweet cherries and one of the nation’s largest suppliers of organic tree fruits. Stemilt has also demonstrated a commitment to sustainable agriculture and social responsibility since 1989, when founder Tom Mathison launched the company’s Responsible Choice program. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com and follow Stemilt on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and You Tube.

Source: Stemilt Growers


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