Roland Marketing plans to start offering Green Giant cherries from the Northwest this summer.

Growers Marketing LLC, which bought the licensing rights this spring for the Green Giant Fresh line, is expanding its fresh cherry offerings, licensing Minneapolis-based Roland Marketing Inc. to distribute Green Giant cherries.

Roland Marketing offers Green Giant cherries

The company already received its first shipment of the cherries, and expected to start shipping by June 20, getting into real volumes by the week of June 22.

The companies started the cherry partnership with the California crop at the beginning of May.

“It was a tough season in California, with quality issues overall, and shortages, but we had excellent arrivals, no problems, and it really created a buzz out there in the industry,” said Joan Tabak, sales manager for Roland Marketing.

Tabak said she finished up California cherries the week of June 8.

Through mid- or late August, Roland Marketing should have Northwest-grown dark sweet varieties and rainier cherries available in cartons, slider bags and clamshells. Green Giant cherries are hand-picked.

The company is starting slow, so Tabak said it’s only offering one size of clamshell, 2-pounds, for now.

“This is our first year, so we really wanted to start out slow and get it right,” Tabak said. “We could certainly modify the clamshell to meet customer needs, with display-ready packaging, or a smaller size, or even a larger, club pack size.”

Its slider bags are 2.25 pounds, and come in 8-count boxes, and bulk cartons are 20 pounds for red cherries, 15 pounds for rainier.

Roland Marketing became a licensee of the Green Giant brand last fall, when it launched Green Giant branded apples. Tabak said the company plans to continue with Green Giant apples this fall, and is planning some new things for the program.

Growers Marketing purchased the Green Giant licensing rights in April from the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based The Sholl Group II. The company offers more than 50 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables through its growers.