Due to the unreliability of the flavour of Galia melons, growers in Almeria are dealing with a reducing demand, says Mark van der Zouwen, Cucurbits Global Product Manager at Hazera. "Growers also have to turn to all kinds of artifice in order to get a better setting and calibre, which doesn't help the flavour of the melons. This is why we are working on a new concept within Hazera, now translated into the new variety Sabroson that was launched in Almeria this year. With Sabroson we have developed a melon that has the advantage of not needing extra growth regulators and supplying an optimal size which is uniform. The harvest time is also optimised, visually ripe fruits don't yet taste optimal during harvest, but taste better and better after 2 or 3 days, which means you have the best flavour on the shelf of the supermarket for the consumer."

The first results of the new variety are promising. "Sabroson has been tested by many growers groups and cooperations and they are convinced of its added value. A number of supermarket chains have also added Sabroson to their recommended list. We hope to set the tone to give the Galia a new impulse in Almeria for both the growers and the melon trade, so that they can better play into the market demand." 

seedless mini watermelon Lynx

Mini- watermelon
Mark also has news in the area of watermelons. The sizes in this category are also increasingly diverse. The large sizes remain popular, in particular in Turkey and due to traditional also among Turkish migrants in Europe. Turkish people like to eat a big watermelon together. Northern Europeans prefer to eat seedless watermelons. "In Northern Europe we're used to our seedless watermelons. In the summer months they come from Spain and during the winter months they mainly come from Brazil. These melons are in the weight class 4 to 6 kg whilst the trend is that consumers prefer the smaller sizes of 2-3 kg these days. The larger sizes are now more popular among cutters for the ready to eat concept."

Hazera is therefore working on an assortment of seedless mini watermelons for the consumer market. "We aim to be able to supply them to supermarkets all year round. Well known is the Lynx, a 1.5-2 kg melon that mainly comes from Brazil in the winter and early spring and has now also received attention among retailers in Germany. We are working hard to develop watermelons in Southern Europe for the Northern European market, like Cheetah and Ocelot. These are welcome additions to the variety that has been grown for years, Leopard. What is important is maintaining quality and flavour upon purchase by the consumer. The shelf life of our varieties is tuned to this so that the product is optimal upon arrival and sale," concludes Mark.


Murcia demo days
Hazera is organising demo days for watermelons and melons in Murcia from 3 to 5 July. During these days they will speak to invited customers from the chain about their product.

For more information:
Mark van der Zouwen
Cucurbits Global Product Manager
T: +31162690900
M: +31622918717

Caroline Schonck
Regional Marcom Specialist
T: +31 162 690 952
M: +316 3459 5265