Brawley, Calif.-based Five Crowns Marketing also has seen increased demand for the variety, said Daren Van Dyke, director of sales and marketing. One small independent retailer, for example, used to take six to seven pallets of cantaloupe per week, he said. Now with Origami, that same retailer is taking a full load each week.
“We’ve been looking for more of a long-shelf-life melon that also has the characteristics of a Western shipper, a slip melon,” he said. “(The Origami) is the best combination of a Harper and a Western shipper.”
When a Western shipper is ripe, the stem will detach cleanly from the fruit — a trait known as “slip.”
The Origami has that same characteristic, making it easy for harvest crews to determine whether the fruit is ripe to pick, Peretz said.
In the past, Van Dyke said Five Crowns Marketing focused heavily on another Western shipper variety that had softer flesh. To compensate, harvest crews would pick it when it had more of a breaking color and about three-quarters slip.
But with the Origami, “You can get it ripe, and not only is it ripe, but it is going to hold up,” he said.