DFI Marketing., one of the largest melon grower-marketers in the US has announced that it will be using a new USDA-supported shelf-life extension technology, Hazel Melon by Hazel Technologies, on all of its melon export containers to Asia starting this season.
Also participating is Bakersfield’s ANA International, a premier brand in the Asian export market for more than 20 years and DFI’s largest melon export partner in Korea.
The Hazel Melon technology is described as the latest innovation being adopted by grower-shippers like DFI in the San Joaquin Valley to stay ahead of competition, to provide the highest grower returns, and to offer an "unequaled consumer experience".
Manufactured by Chicago-based Hazel Technologies, Hazel Melon is an easy to use packaging insert that protects melon quality all the way through to the retail shelves.
Following exceptional pilot trial results in 2016, Hazel received grant funding from the USDA to bring Hazel Melon to market to the benefit of growers.
“After testing the Hazel Melon packets in our containers, we saw up to a 49 per cent increase in marketable product after 30 days, a potential savings of as much as US$10,000 per load,” said Ross Van Vlack, vice-president of sales and marketing for DFI. “The most unique part of the technology is that it’s amazingly simple – you place Hazel Melon in the carton and that’s it. No equipment, no water, no packing house changes. We haven’t seen something that works this well in our many years in the melon industry.”
The partnership with DFI focuses on honeydew, cantaloupe, and mixed melons, while Hazel is also actively working with growers in other fresh categories providing new solutions that maintain post-harvest produce quality.
“We are a company full of passionate people excited about contributing to the future of the fresh produce industry; modern consumers and the millennial generation care deeply about reducing food waste and are demanding improved produce quality now more than ever,” said Aidan Mouat, CEO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies. “Hazel products help grower-shippers meet modern consumer expectations while directly improving grower-shipper bottom lines with little operational disruption or cost and we are excited to be partnering with yet another premier California brand in DFI Marketing.”