During the 7th and 8th of November, Seminis (Bayer Crop Science) organised personalised meetings about their winter and summer melon portfolio.
The key retailers, importers and traders came to Rotterdam to exchange experiences about melons. Next to the Galias and Cantaloupes, again, there was a golden opportunity to savour Orange Candy®, Piel de Sapo and Italian Types.
The objective of these meetings was to create more awareness of the taste, firmness, shelf life and sustainability aspects (resistance packages) of our different melon types.
To make this happen a shelf was available with different varieties from several resources to see and taste them; many fruits imported from off-season fields to simulate “real” consumer tasting experience in the winter season in Europe.
The alignment between the Brazilian portfolio and the European assortment was explained during a presentation by Trade partnership managers Nico van Vliet and Miguel Sanchez.
During the conversations it became more and more clear that retailers would like to have uniformity in taste and appearance during the whole year to maintain their consumer loyalty and to increase consumption of melons in wintertime.
Breeder Peter Kraakman explained that he is aware of these needs and that’s the reason that he developed more varieties which are usable not only in Europe but also overseas or vice versa.
Regional Product manager Francois Ravetti underlined the value of the several resistance packages to reduce crop protection on the field and to reduce MRL’s on retail level.
Left: Galia SVMG4974, one of the highlights with unique combination of taste, LSL and resistances. Right: SVMA6944, a new member of the Orange Candy® family
A first perfect example was Galia SVMG4974, this variety has been recognised as an improved Mc Laren and DRG3228 type, especially thanks to high resistance to Leaf Minor, brix between 13 and 15°, very good flavor, firmness and high yield Potential.
To be distinguishable in appearance and size was one of the key items during the several conversations. A perfect example will be the Italian type SVML3159 (name will follow soon). The size (between 900-1000 gr) and sutures on the skin will anticipate this trend.
The taste was perceived as very good.
Innovations is still on the agenda of retailers
The fact that Orange Candy® types will be year-round available was really appreciated by the audience. A good marketing approach (to communicate the orange flesh inside) will be crucial for the successful launch of these novel varieties.
Right: Italian type SVML3159, attractive in size, taste and appearance
The taste session, led by the sensory team of Kees van Lenning, was really educative. First we asked the visitors to give their own perception and afterwards we showed from the same fruits the brix and firmness. Again, we recognized that brix is only an indication of consumer perception of taste.
Finally, we concluded that we can increase consumption in Europe if we optimize the uniformity in taste and appearance between the two continents.
The approach was well appreciated by the visitors and the Bayer/Seminis Product management and R&D department, and will be continued, on short term with sampling and on mid term with follow up meetings.