Brazilian-grown Dino Melon introduced to U.S. market this season

A new melon variety is hitting the United States market this month: the Dino Melon. John Vena Produce is one of the companies working on distributing it, and director of marketing Emily Kohlhas says: “This melon is grown by Agricola Famosa, a Brazilian grower who acquired the seed from a Korean company a few years ago. They experimented with the seed and developed the Dino Melon variety to work well with their growing conditions. They have been available in Europe for the past four years, but this is the first time that they will be in U.S. market.”

Credit: Agricola Famosa.

The Dino Melon’s season began this month and is expected to last through February. Kohlhas describes the melon: “The sizing is similar to a small cantaloupe or honeydew, and it tastes very sweet with a bit of tartness to give depth to the flavor profile – they all test with a minimum of 12 brix, which is very sweet for a melon. The flesh is very tender and juicy. I would say they have a flavor similar to a honeydew but much more pronounced.”

The company is already seeing great demand for the new variety. “We sold out of our first volumes right when they arrived.” Kohlhas adds.

Credit: Agricola Famosa.

Multi-market opportunities
The Dino Melon is a specialty melon, but will be geared to a variety of markets. Kohlhas explains: “They are priced similarly to other off-season specialty melons. We are pushing the product towards high-end markets, but we see good opportunities for conventional retail as well. We are working together with some ethnic retailers to bring the fruit into ethnic markets because these communities are often more welcoming to new fruit varieties. We have already had a lot of play in the food-service sector and unique melon varieties are always in demand there. There is a lot of opportunity, especially because this is a quiet time of year for the melon market so there is a gap to fill.”

The winter-time is low-season for melons, but the introduction of the Dino Melon might help change that. “This is a quiet time of year for melons. Generally, imported out-of-season fruits have less-than-great quality and flavor. The Dino Melons, however, can stand up to any local variety during the domestic season. If the grower can keep up with the U.S. demand, there should be really good potential for developing a robust off-season melon market,” Kohlhas concludes.

For more information: 
Emily Kohlhas
John Vena Inc.
Tel: +1 (215) 336-0766

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