WENATCHEE, Wash. – Stemilt will begin harvesting and packing Skylar Rae® brand Tip Top cultivar cherries early next week so consumers across the country can enjoy the sweetest cherry you’ll ever eat®. Stemilt marketing director, Brianna Shales is excited about this year’s crop potentials and knows consumers are looking forward to the super-sweet and firm cherry.
“The crop is projected to have good sizing, great quality, high sugar levels and of course, World Famous flavor,” explains Shales. “We already have consumers contacting us, asking when they they’re available, so we know cherry lovers are getting excited.”
Stemilt was the first grower-marketer to release Skylar Rae® cherries commercially in 2015. The company relies on years of experience growing and packing yellow-hued cherries and has determined the best growing locations to ensure they are producing large-sized Skylar Rae® cherries with a firm texture, crunchy bite that explodes with flavor.
“Our long-time leadership in growing cherries has led us to many achievements with this cherry and it is apparent due to the growing consumer demand,” explains Shales. “This year, retailers can expect to start loading around June 7 with the first and largest peak starting in mid-June.”
Due to its short season, Shales encourages retailers to promote Skylar Rae® with standout packaging, in-store signage, and to tie the fruit into online channels to educate consumers. Skylar Rae® is the third SKU of the cherry category. It’s Brix, or sugar levels are off the charts and Skylar Rae® cherries are extremely firm, an uncommon combination for cherries.
“Skylar Rae® cherries are a high ring item in a category that really elevate produce dollars in the summer months. The seasonality of cherries means every week counts, and Skylar Rae® brings a premium experience to help drive impulse sales of cherries,” said Shales.
Retailers can maximize this item by bringing in either the 1lb. branded topseal, which uses 30 percent less plastic than other packaging options, or the 1lb. branded bag option. Skylar Rae® cherries can also be placed in refrigerated cherry displays alongside other cherry varieties or on their own, and feature Skylar Rae®’s branded black carton, which will stand out as a premium item.
Stemilt will be packing Skylar Rae® cherries on its hybrid cherry line that is designed for light colored cherry varieties. With more cushion and a slower run time, Stemilt ensures quality is not sacrificed during the packing process.
“Skylar Rae® cherries are an anomaly and such a tasty summer treat,” states Shales. “We are excited to bring this cherry back into the produce spotlight this summer and continue on our mission of delighting consumers through excellence with Skylar Rae® cherries through the month of June and into the early part of July.”
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 www.stemilt.com.