Aiming to help retailers cash in on California cherries, the California Cherry Advisory Board is reaching out to teach merchandising best practices.

The board is sending a series of direct-mail fliers and e-mails out to retailers, giving them some merchandising pointers and urging them to watch its how-to merchandising videos at its Web site.

“The message here is that cherries just explode with profit for the produce department,” said Chris Zanobini, executive director of the Lodi, Calif.-based California Bing Cherry Promotion Group, which also handles marketing for the board.

The three mailers on their way to retailers suggest promoting cherries most heavily in June, which has proved to be the most profitable month for cherries, Zanobini said.

They also suggest increasing the amount of merchandising space and giving cherries high-visibility in the department.

“You can really get more from your cherry display by not placing cherries next to grapes, carrying both bing and rainier cherries, not stacking cherries, promoting their health benefits and telling consumers they can freeze and hold cherries for up to three months," Zanobini said.

The second direct-mail piece should be on its way to retailers April 30, and the last one about 10 days later, Zanobini said.

In addition to the merchandising video, the board also has a new consumer-focused video on its site that goes through how to make a quick homemade cherry pie. That video is available on the board’s site and here