Learn when the price of cherries will go down and when the best time of year to purchase them is.
We also talk about when cherries go on sale the most and how low you can expect to pay.
Cherries how I miss you.
At the end of the summer you go way. Only to be seen briefly appearing from South American and tasting like you were picked half a world away.
Every year around the start of May you come back to me.
You can tell I love cherries. I can just spend an afternoon tackling an entire bag.
It's always exciting when you see the first bag of cherries show up each year after the long wait. You reach for the bag and then you notice the price sign.
Sticker shock! The first cherries, typically the Brook or Chelan cherries can range from $7 to $12 per pound, generally around $8.99 is the starting point (at least it was this year at Whole Foods Market). When you grab a two pound bag you have just added $17.98 to your grocery bill.
In your excitement over having fresh cherries again they will probably be gone in one day. Even thought I love my fruit, if I am going to spend $17.98 at the store for something that will be gone in a day, I opting for a nice steak.
Why Are They Expensive?
Simple supply and demand. People want cherries but there isn't much to meet up with the demand.
California cherries are first on the market. Their crop doesn't come close to the volume that comes out of Washington - the state. Reason being cherries need a certain number of chill hours where the plants go dormant. It's hard for parts of California to meet that requirement, hence why it cannot compete with Washington.
Being further south California is able to produce a crop earlier in the year. California cherry prices remain sky high until they get into the Bing variety (around mid to late May), and then you start seeing prices go down a bit, but still remain on the high side as store sales are hard to come by.
When Will They Get Cheaper?
As California season progress prices will start creeping on down. Once Washington cherries come into season around mid June, you will start seeing the prices drastically decline. California will finished up.
When Washington arrive you will start seeing prices around $4.99 per pound or less. Around 4th of July when the Washington Bing cherries come out is when the buying will be at the best for the consumer.
Bing cherries are the most grown sweet cherry variety and for a good reason, they are one of the best - flavor and texture. Combine that will a holiday and you can find awesome sales of even $1.99/pound during the time period.
Prices go up as Bings are done but never go as high as they were at the start of the season.
What is a Good Price?
Here is a chart showing how much a pound of cherries is. See what's a good price and what would be considered expensive.
|$6.99/lb and up||High price|
If you are shopping for Rainier cherries expect those prices to be higher, at least $1 more per pound. The cherries are harder to pick since their light skin makes any bruises show up really easily.
Also keep in mind that an average bag of cherries probably weights between 2-3 pounds.
Want to learn more about the cherry season? Check out my article on When Does Cherry Season Begin (and End)?
Varieties to Try
Here are some specaility varieties of cherries you may want to try out.
Leave a comment below, let us know what prices you have seen for cherries this year.