Tart Cherries Are Trending—Here Are a Few Ways to Experience Their Sour-Then-Sweet Flavor

This fruit and its flavor are making a splash on the natural food scene.

<p>Yulia Naumenko / GETTY IMAGES</p>

Yulia Naumenko / GETTY IMAGES

Tart cherries are trending—and foods flavored with this sour-then-sweet fruit seem to be everywhere, too. In stores, you'll find tart cherry gummy supplements, syrups, crackers (studded with the dried fruit), seltzers, and more. It's the fruit and flavor of the moment.

We became aware of the mania after reading a report touting tart cherry as a fruit and flavor to watch from Expo West, the world's largest trade show of healthy, natural products—but it's been on TikTok's radar for months, as well (tart cherry juice went viral as a sleep aid earlier this year). "Many of our shoppers have been aware of this trend for a while now, but TikTok is definitely reigniting it for a larger audience," says Joanne Neugebauer, who oversees the juice selection for Whole Foods Market. "We've seen sales of tart cherry juice increase as much as 30 percent [nationally] in recent months." That's a lot of cherries.

The trend isn't limited to just one grocery chain. "We have seen a noticeable increase in sales in items containing tart cherry in our produce and grocery departments," a Wegmans spokesperson told us. "Sales are growing three times faster than other items in the same category, even with no additional promotion or displays." Several existing products have added tart cherry flavors as brand extensions, and the Wegmans Brand Tart Cherry Stomp Juice has almost doubled in sales in 2023 alone. You'll find items with a tart cherry flavor on shelves, in the refrigerator and freezer aisles, and beyond—shoppers are eagerly filling their grocery carts with this trend in mind.

It's amazing what a trending flavor can do. Read on to learn more about tart cherries, from the actual fruit and its flavor iterations to the products worth trying now.

<p>Yulia Naumenko / GETTY IMAGES</p>

Yulia Naumenko / GETTY IMAGES

Related:Tart Cherry Juice Is Going Viral as a Treatment for Insomnia, but Does It Work? Experts Weigh In

What Are Tart Cherries?

When we talk about tart cherries, we really mean Montmorency cherries (which are also commonly called sour cherries). Named for their place of origin outside of Paris, France, this fruit is also grown in Canada and the northern United States. Often found in jams, preserves, pie filling, and even dried to snack on or add to recipes, sour cherries produce a tart and deeply red juice that's attractive in cocktails. It can be a pleasant, naturally nonalcoholic red wine substitute.

If you're a fan of red-flavored fruits and fruit products (think candy or slushies), it's likely you've tasted tart cherry before—just under the name sour cherry. If that doesn't bring you back to your childhood, we don't know what will.

The Health Benefits of Tart Cherries and Tart Cherry Products

Tart cherries are a source of antioxidants, and can reduce inflammation and boost melatonin—but they aren't a proven superfood (yet). Modern iterations might also come with added sugar, which is something to look out for. "When considering tart cherries [and tart cherry products] for health reasons and to maximize their benefits, it is best to purchase unsweetened versions to ensure you are not inadvertently adding unnecessary sugars to your diet," says Brookell White, MS, RD, the nutrition scientist at MyFitnessPal.

In the (unofficial) wellness world, tart cherry has become synonymous with insomnia; as mentioned, in juice form, it's known as a buzz-worthy sleep aid. But those claims lack the backing of science. "As a board-certified ENT and sleep specialist, there is not enough research currently on the benefits of tart cherry to be sure there are health benefits," says Manan Shah, MD, a board-certified ears, nose, and throat surgeon.

Related:30 Sour Cherry Recipes Sure to Make Your Summer Sweeter

How Consumers Are Trying the Tart Cherry Trend

If you buy packaged food products, it's likely that you've tasted—or will soon taste—tart cherry in some of your favorite snacks and drinks.


The popular Greek yogurt brand Ellenos makes a tart cherry flavor; it has deep ruby tart cherries on the bottom, which you stir into the thick, tangy Greek yogurt for a great balance of creamy and sour. White Mustache also makes a sour cherry yogurt.


Rustic Bakery makes crackers with dried tart cherries in them, which pair well with Divina's sour cherry spread. Soom's cherry chocolate chip tahini bites are a fun bite on the go. Want something a little sweeter? Nibmor makes tart cherry chocolate that's perfect for snacking.


For a gentle taste of this flavor, try Polar's Tart Cherry Lime seltzer—or get a little fancy with a tart cherry sparkling shrub.

Cocktail Additions

At-home mixologists may be interested in Toschi's Italian-made Amarena cherries, which coat sour cherries in syrup to be used in cocktails for a sweet and tart balance. Monin also makes a tart cherry syrup to use in boozy drinks, lattes, and more.

Workout Products

If you're a fitness enthusiast, put the new recovery shot from Pressed and Barry's Bootcamp on your radar; it uses tart cherry juice as a main ingredient.