The media was atwitter about cherries this season as conversations about dark sweet varieties exceeded those of rainiers during all but two weeks.

Using a proprietary analysis tool, Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash., charted how many times dark sweet cherries or rainiers were mentioned on Twitter and Facebook, and in general news, blogs, videos or Web forums from May 1-July 31, according to a news release.

The analysis was part of the grower-shipper’s effort to better understand its consumers and how they communicate.

“We are sharing this information with our customers and the supply chain so we can all stay in tune with what our consumers are thinking,” Howard Nager, marketing vice president, said in the release.

There were about 34% more discussions about dark sweet cherries compared with rainiers, and about half of all conversations occurred on Twitter, followed by 32% on Facebook.

But communications about rainiers surpassed bings for about two weeks surrounding July 11, which is National Rainier Cherry Day.

Nager said he isn’t surprised by considerably more chatter and conversations about dark sweet cherries since they’re more readily available and in considerably higher volumes.

“When you look at historical volumes of dark sweets versus rainiers, rainiers only represent about 10% of the total cherries shipped,” he said in an e-mail. “Their awareness certainly goes up for the short time period that they are available.”

Regardless of the medium, most communications centered on recipes and celebrations, according to the release.

The report also tracked the most influential news articles. For dark sweet cherries, they included pieces by Fox News, Portland and the Wenatchee (Wash.) World newspaper.

For rainiers, they included features by Channel 9 NBC Colorado, Arizona and the San Jose Mercury News.

Nager said this type of information can help retailers with their own social media efforts.

“If consumers are talking about recipes, retailers can offer more recipes on their sites or talk about special holidays or events when cherries can be eaten,” he said. “We place a QR code on our packaging that directs consumers to our website and cherry information, so they can always go directly to the grower to find out additional information or contact us directly.”

Domex Superfresh Growers plans to continue this type of media analysis for apples, pears and cherries, Nager said.