For Texas cantaloupes, the locally grown aspect is an important component to sales.
“We’re the only Texas shipper of cantaloupes, so we’re trying to increase our acreage to increase the amount of time we have volume available to customers,” said Bruce Frasier, president of Dixondale Farms, Carrizo Springs, Texas.
Frasier said the company, which markets cantaloupes under the Carrizo Cantaloupes label, tries to take advantage of the demand trend for locally grown items.
“It’s one advantage we have, that retailers are trying to get more and more into locally grown. In the state of Texas, we’re the locally grown cantaloupes,” he said.
In addition, the cantaloupes tend to be ready with promotable volume in June, when other fruit can be hard to come by in large amounts.
“Cantaloupes are a good fit for promotion up to the Fourth of July because retail managers are eager to have a good locally grown product that has enough volume to promote,” Frasier said.
Another benefit of offering his cantaloupes locally is the price he can offer based on the lower shipping costs.
The company’s main competition comes from Florida or Georgia, and Frasier said estimates he has a substantial freight advantage.
Because of these benefits, Frasier said that 90% of the company’s cantaloupes never leave the state of Texas, where they are often delivered the same day they are picked, packed and ordered.
Monique McLaws, marketing and new products director for Dulcinea Farms, LLC, Ladera Ranch, Calif., agrees local promotions are popular.
“Customizing signage for our customers to promote locally grown continues to be in demand.
Supporting our local growers has resonated with consumers and will most likely continue over the new few years,” she said.