North American fresh produce grower-supplier Oppy has announced it has significantly expanded its imported cherry programme from Chile, Argentina and New Zealand, doubling volumes to cater to what it has called "increasing market demand".
The group now offers nearly year-round availability thanks to its "increasingly popular" domestic cherry programme from California and Oregon.
Oppy said that Chile remained "the cornerstone" of it’s imported programme, with promotable volumes expected from December to January 2021.
“Thanks to an excellent growing season, we are seeing fantastic quality cherries with higher than normal brix levels as well as a very strong crop overall," said Oppy’s vice-president of South American operations Eric Coty. "Our Argentinean cherries are also top-quality and will complement and expand upon our Chilean offerings.
“Oppy’s domestic cherry offerings have already experienced robust growth over the years, and the future of our South American programme is just as promising thanks to consistently high-quality, well-sized fruit.”
South American cherries pose a unique opportunity for retailers, Coty continued.
“Until fairly recently, cherries were purely a seasonal item, starring in the produce department as the ultimate impulse purchase during the North American summer months,” he said. “Now, our customers can capitalise on that same ‘cherry effect’ with promotions during the holidays and into January.”
The grower plans to continue actively expanding its imported cherry programme every year, considering that Chile sends less than 2 per cent of its crop to North America – leaving "significant room for future growth".