Courtesy National Watermelon Association(UPDATED COVERAGE April 24) The National Watermelon Association is urging retailers, shippers and paper companies to replace existing watermelon bins with a new preprint bin aimed at a consistent look nationwide.
It was created as an alternative to the more than 200 watermelon bin stock-keeping units now in use by shippers and paper companies, said Bob Morrissey, executive director of the Lakeland, Fla., association. It was developed after discussions with suppliers.
“The massive inventories have created stresses on the supply chain from warehousing to transporting to countless costs that are unnecessary,” Morrissey said. “Getting thousands of retail stores to use this endorsed bin will help us to create brand or crop awareness, dilute the hundreds of logos and messages that exist on the bins currently, and make sense of a costly business.”
The first run of bins is expected to be at retail by the start of summer.
The association is making the bin design available to all paper companies and shippers. It’s not intended to be one more stock-keeping unit, according to the trade group, which claims replacement will cut costs and boost sales.
The National Watermelon Association created the bin in partnership with growers and shippers, box manufacturers Multicorr Corp. and International Paper, and the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The board provided graphics support.
With the board in a supporting role, the question of a grower vote or referendum did not arise, Morrissey said.
“The retail community to the largest extent determines what they want in their stores as a watermelon bin,” he said. “The NWA, being a voluntary membership organization, has the levity to look at issues and opportunities like the 200-plus bin SKUs and create a solution that any paper company, retailer, wholesaler and shipper can use.”