New Zealand cherry producer Tarras Cherry Corp has officially launched its distinctive Hidden Valley brand as Central Otago's cherry season begins.
Seasoned cherry exporter and marketer Sharon Kirk of Hortinvest Ltd drove the brand direction for Tarras Cherry Corp. It draws inspiration from the orchard's remote location in Ardgour Valley above the tiny village of Tarras, Central Otago and conveys the story of the flora and fauna of the region.
This season, the 40-hectare orchard is expected to produce 150-160 tonnes of cherries for export to markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
"As cherries are expensive and exquisite, the brand has been developed around the concept of our cherries being 'treasures' which grow in a remote valley of New Zealand. This inspired the idea of a treasure hunt to discover New Zealand's best cherries," said Sharon Kirk, Export & Marketing Manager, Hortinvest.
"Our cherry boxes are glossy white overlaid with a subtle gold topographic background map which captures the mountains, valleys and rivers of the Tarras region and an artist's illustration of the creatures which live there including New Zealand's only falcon species, the rare Karearea.
"A prominent 'X' to mark the spot hints at the story behind the fauna and flora - a deer, a sheep, a rabbit, the cherries, mountains and rivers. Inside the box, there's a keepsake-style card with the story in more detail."
Tarras Cherry Corp's website showcased the falcon as a hero element, "virtually guiding visitors over topography and into the orchard as they browse the site", she said.
Tarras Cherry Corp collaborated with the Wanaka team from Queenstown-based creative agency Fluid to develop the brand, website and packaging materials.
There is strong demand for NZ's newest cherry offering. Buyers in Asia had already expressed excitement about the offering, Kirk said.
"Demand has been exceptional and we pre-sold a large portion of our crop well before the season."
The orchard is set within the 3,600-hectare sheep and beef station, Ardgour Station. It is New Zealand's largest fully netted orchard. This summer marks its second season.
Hidden Valley cherries are available in 1kg, 2kg and 5kg boxes. Approximately 15 percent will be available domestically.
"The crop will come into full production from 2024, and with more fruit available, we'll be able to offer online sales to New Zealanders," said Kirk.
Set at elevation, the Tarras Cherry Corp orchard spans 40 hectares in the Ardgour Valley of New Zealand's Central Otago region. It is currently the largest single orchard fully covered in net in New Zealand and produces export cherries under the Hidden Valley brand between December and February. Hortinvest manages all aspects of Tarras Cherry Corp including growing, picking, packing, shipping and marketing.