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Walmart to release a new sweeter melon variety this winter
Walmart — the nation's largest food retailer — is branching out into the agro-business, partnering with Bayer to create a designer melon. The final result is the Sweet Spark, a cantaloupe that tastes nearly twice as sweet as the average melon available during cooler months.
Walmart sells several melon varieties year-round.
"Walmart sells nearly 10 times as many cantaloupes in June as we do in December," Molly Blakeman, a spokeswoman for Walmart, told TODAY over email. "For the past 15 years, winter cantaloupes have been grown in Central America and shipped by ocean vessel to the United States."
In previous years, Blakeman says, farmers working in conjunction with seed breeders, focused on growing melons that would survive the two week trip and still have enough shelf life left for the customer.
"Problem is, the industry forgot about flavor along the way," Blakeman says. "We had cantaloupes that were firm and looked nice on the shelf, but they didn’t really taste like cantaloupes."
And something that doesn’t taste good doesn’t sell so well. So, Blakeman says, Walmart collaborated with seed companies from around the world to grow a new, highly-flavorful melon that could be harvested for winter consumption.
Publication date: 9/1/2017
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