With Labour Day kicking off the back-to-school fall season, demand is starting its traditional drop for watermelon.
“Supply of watermelon is fine. It’s limited but demand is as well,” says Savvas Tsoukalas of Mississauga, Ont.-based Savco Worldwide, Inc. “All the demand this time of year drops off dramatically so the supply is meeting the demand.” Currently Savco is sourcing through local Ontario suppliers and anticipates the season winding down within a week or so.
Pricing to change?
As for pricing, Tsoukalas says prices are somewhat depressed. “They’re actually more depressed than what I typically see but I feel that’s going to change in the next week or so, once they finish up out of Indiana and push into Texas and Florida,” he says. “Even then, demand typically drops off so much that you’re able to support supply. Prices usually go up because of logistics—that’s the main reason.”
In terms of consumer demand, July and August is the hot season for watermelon. “But in September, customers may not want it or they may switch over to a mini,” says Tsoukalas. “Choices change and people change their behaviour at this time of year.” If anything, Tsoukalas notes that the melon profile changes into the fall season. “In the summer, there’s less consumption of cantaloupe but in the fall, it’s a lot higher again,” he says. “It’s just something I noticed as a trend.”
High yield season
As the growers wrap up the season, many are happy to say goodbye to some of the issues they had to contend with over the season. “They had some challenges with internal quality due to the cool weather early in the year but overall, sizing was bigger than what they expected and yield was high,” says Tsoukalas. “So they got the yield out of the product. But it grew to be big—that was the issue they had this year. But that was systemic throughout the whole season, from Florida all the way up.”
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Savvas TsoukalasSavco Worldwide, Inc.