Countdown to Cherry Season 2017

When your cherry orchards look like this, it means cherry harvest is about 50 days away!

At Chelan Fresh we are known for Quality Mountain Grown fruit but we love to say that our cherries are what makes us famous. The mountains of Central Washington, ample sunshine, cool crisp air and the waters of the might Columbia River comcine for ideal growing conditions. This spring, our cherry bloom is falling at a more normal time, allowing us to start our harvests around the middle of June and continue to have cherries at our higher elevations through early August. We can’t wait to share our Chelan Fresh cherries with you!

What’s New

Borton and Chelan Fresh Management

Chelan Fresh, already one of the largest and most versatile apple, cherry and pear suppliers in the world, is merging with Borton Fruit of Yakima, Washington. The merger brings together two industry leading companies and 5 generations of farmers. Borton Fruit’s diverse production and innovative style joins the dynamic supplier base of Gebbers Farms, Crane & Crane and Chelan Fruit Cooperative in the marketing group. The addition of Borton Fruit brings an immediate 47 percent volume expansion to Chelan Fresh’s sales and marketing portfolio, including organic offerings, early-season cherries, innovative plantings and new proprietary apple varieties like Honeycrisp, Rockit®, KORU® and SugarBee®. And with more than $235 million dollars recently invested in the latest sorting and packing technology, the combined entity will have unprecedented ability to serve customers at the highest levels.
Borton Fruit Logo
Chelan Fresh Logo
Chelan Fresh will market the majority of the new fruit under the globally-recognized Trout label, which has long been associated with high-quality apples, pears and cherries. This marks the label’s largest brand expansion since the Trout label was first marketed in 1923. Chelan Fresh also markets the Cascade Crest Organic® and the Chelan Fresh labels.

The combined marketing company will retain the Chelan Fresh name and operate from both Chelan and Yakima, Washington.  Although the venture will officially begin on September 1, the sales and marketing teams are already working closely to bring immediate benefits to buyers.

For full press release and photos click here.

Meet the Grower

Chelan Fresh is proud to represent the growers of Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties in Washington State. In the coming months we will regularly introduce them to you in our “Meet the Grower” series. Check in regularly with our blog – To The Core – to find out what’s happening in the orchards that produce some of Washington’s Finest Mountain Grown Fruit.
Steve Stamps with his family
This month we caugh up with Steve Stamps and talked about the challenges facing small growers and how altitude can impact the growing season. To learn more about Steve, visit our blog post.

Category Opportunities

March performance numbers are in!

Nielsen just released their performance numbers for March. Apples delivered another strong volume month with Total Reporting US movement of 147 Million lbs. which was 7.5% increased over last year.

Topline Apple dollars are still challenging in this deflationary crop year, but they were relatively flat to last year vs. the losses we have seen the last few months! Growth from next generation varieties, like Envy and Organics helped to lift the category dollars this month. The Easter flip helped us out as well.

We have attached a one-page snapshot below covering Apple Headlines, but if you would like to look more closely at your market area OR your performance vs. your competition, please let us know.

Click the image below to view the full-size document.

US Apple Retail Sales - March 2017

Employee Spotlight

Joey Bruno

Joey Bruno has worked at Chelan Fresh for the last 8 years. In her role as Director of First Impressions, she makes sure all of the Chelan Fresh customers and employees stay connected. She also keeps Chelan Fresh Accounts Payable up to date and running efficiently.

Name: Joey Bruno

Position: Director of First Impressions

Favorite Apple: I actually have two: Honeycrisp and Rockits®. Honeycrisp have such a wonderful crispness. They are predominantly sweet. Rockit® Apples are very exciting. The Rockits® are sweet and crisp. The size is perfect for my grandkids and they love them. The packaging makes travel a breeze.

Favorite Cherry: Orondo Ruby®. The Rubys have such crispness and sweetness, it is unbelievable.

Joey and her grandchildren

Favorite part of working at Chelan Fresh: Hands down the people! Being the Director of

First Impressions gives me the opportunity to interact with all of our customers, vendors and staff. I feel valued and appreciated. I know the Chelan Fresh management team genuinely care about me as a person. I love this company

Favorite thing to do outside of work: There are so many stages of life. My children have grown up, married, and now have children of their own. I would say my favorite thing outside of work would be spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren. Now I know what people mean, “I could have gone straight to grandchildren”.

Cinco De Mayo

This little bottle of Tajin® Seasoning packs a big punch! And when you pair it with our Chelan Fresh Granny Smith apples it makes for a savory, spicy, tangy snack all in one bite.
Tajin seasoning on Chelan Fresh Granny Smith apples

At Chelan Fresh we love to find new and innovative ways to pair fresh fruit with other foods Tajin bottle sprinklingand seasonings to help consumers lead healthier lifestyles. That is why we value our friends at Tajin®. Tajin’s® number one goal is to help improve the overall consumption of fruits and vegetables from children through adults. Their line of seasonings pair well with fruits and vegetables and offers a delicious way to add a kick to your favorite dish. And taking Tajin® along with your favorite apple as an on-the-go snack makes perfect, healthy, snacking sense! Look for Tajin® and Chelan Fresh apples at your local retailer.

Trade Shows

Are you looking to connect with Chelan Fresh sales and marketing professionals in the flesh and talk about fresh fruit?

Find us at a Trade Show near you in 2017. Chances are if you come by our booth and say hi, we will offer you a piece of our quality Mountain Grown Fruit.

  • CPMA Toronto, Canada: May 9-11
  • West Coast Show  Palm Springs, California: May 19-21
  • United Fresh Show Chicago, Illinois: June 13-15
  • PMA Show New Orleans, Louisiana: October 19-21
  • New York Produce Show: December 11-14
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