Cantaloupe and honeydew are the most familiar fruits on the melon table other than watermelon. Use that familiarity to drive sales, not just of cantaloupe but of other melons and companion items. As cantaloupe sales rise, so will your bottom line.
- As an orange-flesh fruit, cantaloupe offers some unique health benefits, the most well-known of which is a high concentration of vitamin A. Vitamin A can protect against emphysema and improve lung health. Cantaloupe also contains vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and has been shown to help prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer, and folate, which has been shown to help prevent birth defects. The orange-fleshed fruit has also been shown to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for cantaloupe: fat-free, saturated fat-free, very low-sodium, cholesterol-free, high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C and a good source of folate.
- Cantaloupe isn’t often used in recipes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some cross-merchandising partners. Cross-merchandise cantaloupe with items like bagged salad, vinaigrette, poppy seed dressing, fruit dip and other melons.
- Cantaloupe is available year-round. Offer promotions throughout the year to keep consumers thinking about the tasty fruit.
- Fall: Include cantaloupe in back-to-school promotions as part of a healthy breakfast to start the school day off right. Encourage consumers to add cantaloupe to their children’s lunch boxes, but remind them to add a cold pack to keep the melon cool.
- Winter: As a fruit with year-round availability, cantaloupe is available at a decent price when a lot of other fruits are not. Promote it as a healthy snack. Include it on fruit trays for the big game-day gatherings.
- Spring: When consumers’ minds are turning to fresh, lighter meals that come with warm weather, promote cantaloupe as a great addition to green and fruit salads. Include it as a perfect addition to Mother’s Day and Easter brunches.
- Summer: Promote cantaloupe as a tasty, cooling snack for those hot summer days. Kids love the sweet taste, and parents love the nutrition it offers. Encourage consumers to think of cantaloupe as a side dish for grilled dinners that is easy to cut up and doesn’t require heating up the kitchen on a hot day.
- Display cantaloupe and honeydew together. The color contrast between the two familiar melons creates an eye-catching display.
- Don’t stack melons more than a layer or two deep. While they look sturdy, melons can bruise and squish if they are on the bottom of a higher stack.
- Overwrap a cantaloupe half to add color to your display. The bright orange color encourages consumers to purchase.
- Educate consumers that melons need to be washed before cutting to avoid food-safety issues.
- Some consumers may not have time to cut their own melon. Offer fresh-cut options for those consumers. Consider offering fresh-cut melon mix that include cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon.
- Include cantaloupe on fruit plates and in fruit cups.
- Offer cantaloupe as part of plated salads and on the salad bar.
- Think of cantaloupe as a decorative addition to add color to the plate.
- Hollowed out cantaloupes filled with fruit salad can make a unique presentation.
- Offer sliced cantaloupe as a side dish for lunchtime sandwiches.
In The Backroom
1,000-lb. bins 80-lb. jumbo crates 60-lb. 11⁄2-bushel cartons/crates 54-lb. 2⁄3 cartons/crates 45- to 50-lb. one-half wirebound crates 40-lb. one-half cartons/crates 40-lb. 11⁄9-bushel cartons/crates 40-lb. bushel baskets RPC 6416 Consumer packs 18- to 21-lb. 1-layer packs
U.S. fancy U.S. No. 1 U.S. commercial U.S. No. 2
Temperature: 36 to 41 F, 2 to 5 C Relative humidity: 90-95% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 10 to 14 days Ethylene producer. Do not store or transport with ethylene-sensitive produce. Susceptible to chilling injury. Damage sometimes is not apparent until the produce is returned to a higher temperature. If stem end is rough with portions of the stem remaining, the melon was harvested prematurely. Because cantaloupe is shipped in a firm state to avoid damage, it usually needs a few days at room temperature to soften and become juicier. Fresh-cut To prevent bacteria on the melon netting from passing through to the flesh when cutting, follow these U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules: Wash melons with potable water. Clean and sanitize the cutting area and utensil. Hold cut product at 45 F, 7 C, or lower. If product cannot be held at that temperature, throw it away after four hours. Use a marking system so employees can follow the four-hour shelf-life system.
- 41% of consumers said they purchased cantaloupe in the past year.
- Consumers aged 59 and older are more than twice as likely to purchase cantaloupe than those age 18-39.
- Women are more likely to buy cantaloupe than men by 18 percentage points.
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