A home delivery service of irregularly shaped fruits has become a huge success following its launch late last month by a company seeking to make up for lost business at its sightseeing orchard in northeastern Japan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Yamagata Sakuranbo Farm Co., which normally sells the substandard fruits only at its store, put the promotion online in a bid to avoid having to dump some 120 tons of products such as cherries and peaches as social-distancing measures kept visitors away.

Its offer of seven deliveries over a period of six months, totaling 40 kilograms of fruit, for 28,567 yen ($260) drew a strong response, selling out the excess fruit in just two weeks.

"I didn't expect a huge sell like this," said Yoshitomo Yahagi, the 44-year-old president of the company. "I hope farmers across the country will take note of this."

"We can turn a crisis into a chance. We hope that people will visit our place when the (coronavirus) crisis is under control," said an employee.

(Yoshitomo Yahagi, president of Yamagata Sakuranbo Farm, poses with a basket of cherries in Tendo, Yamagata Prefecture on May 11)