Commodity: Watermelon



  • 4031


  • 4032

    regular, seedless

  • 4340


  • 4341

    yellow, seedless

  • 3308


  • 3281

    orange, seedless

  • 3421

    mini seedless (3-7 lbs.)


Commodity Overview

Watermelon is a perennial summertime favorite, so make the most of those summer months to get it moving off the shelves. Watermelon sales grew slightly in 2018, showing that this mouth-watering melon has the potential to add sales to your store.


  • Watermelon is a summertime favorite, but it also offers up a bunch of health benefits. Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A, which is essential for keeping eyes and skin healthy. It contains vitamin C, which can improve immune-system health and fight cancer. Watermelon’s red color is caused by lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that researchers believe is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight cancer and other diseases. Compounds in watermelon may contribute to cardiovascular health.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for watermelons: fat-free, saturated fat-free, very low sodium, cholesterol-free, a good source of vitamin A and high in vitamin C.

Sales Strategies

  • Cross-merchandise watermelon with berries, fruit salad ingredients, bagged salad and picnic baskets.
  • Watermelon is available year-round with peak season in the summer months. Create an appetite for watermelon by promoting it throughout the year.
  • Fall: Peak watermelon season is winding down, but keep it in consumers’ minds by including fresh-cut options in back-to-school promotions. Add cubed watermelon to party trays for fall football tailgates.
  • Winter: Include watermelon in holiday promotions as an addition to fruit salads.
  • Spring: Promote watermelon as a sweet addition to healthy green salads. Include watermelon in Mother’s Day and Easter promotions as a great addition to a holiday brunch.
  • Summer: Summer is when watermelon shines. Include it in summer holiday promotions. Consider a tent or truckload sale to move watermelon and other items near the summer holidays. Make watermelon a centerpiece of the sale.
  • Offer samples of watermelon, especially early in the season, to create an appetite for watermelon.

Dynamic Displays

  • Not everyone wants a huge watermelon. Offer plenty of options for consumers, including different sizes, both red and yellow varieties, and fresh-cut options.
  • Brace the bottom of your watermelon display to avoid a watermelon avalanche.
  • During peak season, extend your watermelon display into the aisles and outside with graphic bins full of the summertime treat.
  • Place watermelon near the front of the store during the summer, especially around the summertime holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Food Service

  • Watermelon does not cook well, so serve it chilled and raw.
  • Watermelon cubes can be frozen and used as ice cubes in drinks.
  • Add watermelon to smoothies to create a tasty treat.
  • Watermelon has a high water content so refrain from chopping it too fine or it will disintegrate.
  • Include watermelon in salads and salad bars.
  • Watermelon cubes or slices are a great addition to a breakfast bar.
  • Use a thin slice of watermelon as a plate garnish.
  • Use a hollowed out watermelon shell as a basket for a centerpiece or as a serving dish.

In The Backroom


45,000-lb. bulk 1,050-lb. bins 85-lb. cartons, various counts 65-lb. cartons (seedless) 35-lb. cartons (mickey lee) 24-, 30-, and 36-inch bins RPC – not available


United States U.S. fancy U.S. No. 1 U.S. No. 2


Temperature: 50 to 60 F, 10 to 15.6 C. At 50 F, 10 C or lower, watermelons lose color. At 60 F, 15.6 C or higher they decay. Relative humidity: 90% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 14 to 21 days Ethylene-sensitive (Do not store or transport with ethylene-producing commodities.) Susceptible to chilling injury (Damage sometimes is not apparent until produce is returned to a higher temperature. At temperatures of 32-50 F, 0-10 C, watermelons are subject to chill injury.) After one week at 32 F, 0 C, they will develop an off-flavor and become pitted. For about a week, holding watermelons at room temperature can improve flavor and coloring, and can be held for up to three weeks at 50 to 60 F, 10 to 15.6 C, but it is best to sell quickly. When stored at higher temperatures, color will deepen. Once picked, watermelon sugar content does not increase.


Fresh Trends

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Nutrition Labels


20-lb. melon = about 138 ½-inch sliced wedges 20-lb. melon = about 90 ¾-inch sliced wedges 30-lb. melon = about 190 ½-inch sliced wedges

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