Juliemar Rosado, director of retail and international marketing for the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB), Winter Springs, Florida, says with a category item like watermelons, good merchandising is important because it confirms the value, health and versatility of the product, which are some of the primary drivers for watermelon sales.
In addition, Rosado says cut watermelon equals convenience.
"The customer who buys fresh-cut watermelon will not necessarily be the same one that picks up a whole watermelon at the store," she says. "Keeping that in mind, when bins of watermelons are available, if the cutting is done in-house, one suggestion would be to have the bins of whole watermelons showcased near the fresh-cuts, targeting both customers."
The NWPB also invites all retailers with watermelons in their stores to enter the 11th annual Watermelon Retail Display Contest.
"Originally established to annually honor National Watermelon Month in July, the contest has expanded in recent years to also celebrate National Watermelon Day on August 3 and will run throughout both months," Rosado says. "The contest is used to encourage retailers to create eye-catching displays that showcase the many benefits of watermelon. It's a winning combination!"
Stella Farms, Scottsdale, Arizona, is in the thick of its melon season, says Vice President of Sales Mike Martori, approaching peak volume of the season.
Conventional large, seedless watermelon continue to take center stage, Martori says. "Quality this season is great, and prices are low, so retailers should get as many melons on the shelves as they can," he adds, saying suggested retail price for medium-size watermelon in the summer ranges from $3 to $5.
Martori agrees that cut melon continues to be trending in popularity, with a broad range of consumers opting for this choice for convenience and time savings.
Robert Schueller, director of public relations for Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce Inc. which produces the Melissa’s brand, says the company is excited to promote the Charentais melon, a globe-shaped fruit with a slightly netted gray-green rind and an orange flesh with a luscious, flowery aroma.
The company introduced the thinner-skinned, smaller-size melon in January that's sourced from the Dominican Republic, which offering year-round availability, and Schueller says it projects for strong sales for the coming year.