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European markets won’t give up on traditional watermelons

Traditional watermelons remain among the most popular fruits and vegetables for the 2024 summer season, despite buyers’ preference for seedless and smaller varieties, FreshPlaza notes.

For Daniele and Nadia Martucci of Martucci Srl, the commercialization has just begun and seems to be quite encouraging. “We started last Friday, 21 June, with the first samples sent to Germany, France and Poland. The product is brushed, polished, graded and branded. While 8 to 10 kilogram sizes are preferred in eastern countries, operators in other European markets are aiming for larger watermelons, starting at 10 to 12 kilograms and reaching 15 to 18 kilograms. The customer can choose to receive the product in cardboard or wooden crates. The variety is Melania, which allows us to be present on the markets until the end of September.”

Read also: Turkiye’s Watermelon Producers Thrive as European Football Championship Drives Demand

It was therefore a good start, supported by temperatures that were more in line with the season. “Traditional watermelons continue to grow in popularity, despite the fact that variety renewal is changing consumer buying habits. The generally lower prices compared to other varieties and the ability of fruit sellers to offer them in wedges mitigate the difficulties of transporting the fruit. Now, however, the weather must play its part and help to boost demand.”

The start of the new season is characterized by smaller sizes than usual. “At least for the first batches, we are seeing smaller calibers, averaging 9-10 kg. The crunchy texture and high sugar content are still appreciated and help us to counter the competition from Moroccan and Greek products. The situation in the field will normalize over the next few weeks. At the moment, production quotations are good and around €0.40/kg.”

EastFruit

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