Signs of summer are all around – warmer weather, longer days, and the start of watermelon season! Watermelon is a scrambling and trailing vine in the flowering plant family Cucurbitaceae. It is actually a special kind of berry with a hard rind and no internal division!
Watermelon is believed to have originally grown wild in the warm regions of tropical and subtropical Africa where it was an important source of water and sustenance. Seeds, leaves, and paintings depicting watermelons dating back 5,000 years have been discovered in excavations of Egyptian tombs!
There are over 1,200 known varieties of watermelon. The seeds may be red, white, black, pink, spotted, or brown. Seedless watermelon began its evolution in 1939. The first specimen was developed by Professor H. Kihara, a Japanese scientist at Kyoto University. Watermelons have sweet, juicy flesh that is usually deep red to pink—often the deeper colored the flesh, the sweeter the taste.
Watermelon is typically eaten raw and may also be grilled or seared in a hot pan to caramelize natural sugars. Did you know you can pickle the fruit and the rind, and the rind is edible after cooking? Celebrate summer with some delicious watermelon; order a bin today!
How to Sell More Watermelon Bins
Watermelon bins will be a large draw in your produce department as we approach warmer weather, picnic season, and the July 4th holiday. Keeping your watermelon bins looking full and attractive is an important factor in keeping them moving. Understandably, you may not have the room to store another 700-pound bin in back stock to keep your floor display bin full. However, there are ways to keep your display looking attractive and abundant when it is only half full:
1. Transfer remaining melons into shopping carts to empty out the bin.
2. Fill the bottom of the empty bin with milk crates or other sturdy structures. Remember, whatever you are using, it needs to be able to support hundreds of pounds of weight.
3. Lay a protective layer between milk crates and melons. You don’t want the crates to damage the melons.
4. Refill the bin with the melons.
Now your half bin looks full and is more easily shoppable. Customers will greatly appreciate not having to bend over to grab a heavy watermelon out of the bottom of a bin!
New & Exciting!:
- Acorn Squash: California-grown just starting up and looking fantastic!
- Fig*: The first of the season is here! Black Mission figs have a deep purple exterior and a soft textured creamy center that tastes mildly sweet. Brown Turkey figs have a beautiful purple and brown exterior and an amber colored interior with a mildly sweet flavor. Peter’s Honey is a very sweet fig with dark amber flesh and a beautiful, shiny greenish-yellow exterior. Violette de Bordeaux are widely regarded as the finest tasting fig. Purple-black exterior with a deep strawberry red interior. Out of this world sweet and rich flavor.
Did you know…figs are one of the first plants to be cultivated by humans in ancient Egypt? They’ve been documented as a food source for over 11,000 years!
- Hami Melon: Golden yellow, lightly netted skin. Inner flesh is a pale, coral color and surrounds a large central seed cavity. Crisp flesh is juicy and refreshingly sweet with a trademark floral and sweet aroma. Long shelf life and a great addition to summer melon displays!
- Galia Melon: A hybrid melon between the Honeydew and the Cantaloupe. Netted rind with chartreuse-colored flesh. Succulent texture with a signature spicy sweet flavor with tropical aromatics.
- Red Line Nectarine*: Firm, white-fleshed variety. A red line runs along the suture of the fruit’s exterior, which continues into the flesh as a red streak. Sweet, tangy, and irresistibly juicy! Very limited availability. Talk to your Account Manager if you are interested!
- Red Raven Black Plum*: Deep purple coloring. Jammy and deliciously juicy. Great for eating out of hand or in cooked applications.
- Pluot: Starting off with limited availability. Hybrid cross between a plum and an apricot, but more similar to a plum. Thin skin appears mottled and clings to the flesh. Intense flavor, brimming with sweetness and minimal acid. Best suited for fresh eating, but can also be used in cooked applications.
- Shallot: California-grown starting off with limited availability. Supply is expected to improve as the season progresses. Elongated, oblong shape with a rounded center, tapering to a point at both ends. Aromatic with a flavor that is milder and more delicate than that of an onion. Crisp and astringent when raw. Develops delicate, sweet, and savory flavors similar to garlic when cooked.
- Watermelon Bins*: Here now and just in time for July 4th displays and picnics! Promotional pricing for seedless bins from VV Exclusive Grower Rundle Family Farms. Rundle melons are a staff favorite—perfectly sweet, juicy, and beautiful. Order your watermelon bins today!
- Berry*: Sierra Cascade has volume-fill blueberries that are peaking in production and tasting amazing! Strawberry is in good supply with promotional pricing. Make sure your stores are stocked up for picnics and the upcoming July 4th holiday!
- Blenheim Apricot*: Tasting amazing and in great supply. Available in ReadyCycle compostable pints! Watch Kerri, VV Field Merchandiser, taste these golden-hued treats:
- Celery: Production in California’s central valley has begun. Softer pricing.
- Cherry: In great supply. California-grown fruit is winding down as we transition to Washington-grown. Great opportunities to feature the super sweet Rainier variety from LaPierre Farms, one of our hottest labels! Click the video below to learn how to safely pit cherries using a reusable straw!
- Flame Grape*: Red seedless variety with promotional pricing! Crisp and sweet in flavor. Perfect to add to a picnic-themed display!
- Hass Avocado*: California-grown from VV Exclusive grower Las Palmalitas in great supply. Extremely sharp pricing on 84 counts. Talk to your Account Manager for pallet deals!
- Tommy Atkins Mango*: Fair Trade in excellent supply with promotional pricing! Broadly oval shaped with a green skin that is covered with dark red blushing and orange and yellow accents. Firm, deep yellow flesh is somewhat fibrous and tastes mildly sweet.
- Brussels Sprouts: Very limited until the end of June.
- Globe Eggplant
- Kabocha Squash
- Lemon: Very limited in supply.
- Lime Juice: Extended gap in supply expected to last until the early Fall.
- Meyer Lemon: Gap in supply
- Pea: English, Snow, and Sugar Snaps are very limited as the season winds down and temperatures are on the rise.
- Rhubarb: Quickly winding down. Order before it’s gone for the season!
- Slicing Cucumber: Remains extremely limited until the end of June.
Done for the Season:
- Baby Artichoke
- Baker Potato
- California-Grown Cherry