Huge consumption potential identified as first US Pacific Northwest cherries arrive in India under new phytosanitary systems approach
Northwest Cherry Growers (NWCG) is embarking on a promotional campaign across major Indian cities to introduce this summer’s crop of US Pacific Northwest cherries to discerning health-conscious consumers.
US trade association NWCG said an extensive retail and communication strategy would raise awareness of the high quality, nutritional benefits and culinary value of the “world-famous” large, sweet cherries while they are available at Indian fruit retailers and on e-commerce platforms during July and August.
The campaign launched to media in Delhi and Mumbai last week. Ron Verdonk, Minister-Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs at the US Embassy, officially launched the Northwest Cherries campaign in Delhi, while Rhiannon Elms, senior agricultural attaché for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service at the US Consulate in Mumbai, led the media launch in Mumbai.
Keith Hu, director of international operations at Northwest Cherry Growers, was present at both events. He said cherries from the US Pacific Northwest were appreciated by consumers worldwide for their sweet flavour, bigger size and superior quality. “I am delighted to see Northwest cherries here in India,” Hu commented.
The media launches also underlined the nutritional benefits of eating Northwest cherries. Kavita Devgan, a leading dietician, holistic health consultant and writer, highlighted their contribution to health and wellbeing at the event in Delhi, while nutritionist Pooja Makhija, also a prominent holistic health consultant and writer, gave similar endorsement of the product at the Mumbai event.
This season marks a breakthrough for fresh cherries arriving in India from the US states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Montana, following the approval of a phytosanitary systems approach last year. The new protocol removes the need for the fruit to undergo fumigation before export to the country, which had a detrimental impact on shelf-life.
US Pacific Northwest cherries are expected to hit the spot with Indian consumers on account of their quality and flavour. Sumit Saran, in-country marketing representative at NWCG, highlighted the “immense potential” for US Northwest cherries in India. “These cherries are considered amongst the best in the world,” he pointed out. “Cherries from the US Pacific Northwest will be in the market in July and August, perfectly complementing the Indian cherry season.’