Melon marketing business updates - The Packer

Melon marketing business updates

04/18/2014 10:57:00 AM
Melissa Shipman

Big Chuy adds Mexican packing lines

Big Chuy Distributors & Sons Inc., Nogales, Ariz., added three packing lines in Mexico for this year.

The addition should increase the speed at which the company can pack watermelons, according to Jesus Lopez Jr., president.

The new equipment also will help with sizing requests.

“The new lines will help provide the exact specs customers need and increase the speed and accuracy we can pack,” Lopez said.


C.H. Robinson watermelons get Pink Ribbons

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson will continue its MelonUp! Pink Ribbon Watermelon campaign for 2014, according to Josh Knox, category general manager.

The program began in 2008 and offers retailers the chance to partner with the company on this popular promotion.

“According to the 2013 Cone Cause Survey, 91% of consumers want to see more products, services, and retailers support worthy causes,” Knox said.

C.H. Robinson donates a portion of each watermelon sale to breast cancer research on behalf of the participating retailer, Knox said.

Customers also have the opportunity to participate in local events that promote the cause such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Bloomington, Minn., and a “World’s Largest Watermelon Display” at a retail store in Canada.


Dixondale Farms expands cantaloupe season

Bruce Frasier, president of Carrizo Springs, Texas-based Dixondale Farms, said the company is working to extend its cantaloupe season, a process they began last year as the only shipper out of Texas.

“We were able to do it to a certain extent. This year we’re experimenting with about 15 different varieties to try and extend the season even more,” Frasier said.

He said the process of extending the season presents challenges because some varieties aren’t suited for a later harvest.

“We are trying to find a new variety that will work later in the season. If you use the same variety, it presents a challenge to maintain the sizing and quality,” Frasier said.

Dixondale Farms celebrated its 100th year in business last year.


Dulcinea Farms increases production

Since the acquisition by Pacific Trellis on Jan. 1, Ladera Ranch-based Dulcinea Farms has ramped up its spring and summer melon production.

“We expect high yields and quality for both our PureHeart, Ruby Bliss and Tuscan cantaloupe productions,” said Monique McLaws, marketing director for Dulcinea Farms LLC, Ladera Ranch, Calif., said.

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