International vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan has said that it will continue to invest heavily in developing new, flavourful melons, while also backing one particular variety with a promotional campaign.
According to the company, this summer will see it work with retailers, growers and processing companies to launch a pan-European campaign pushing its Piel de Sapo varieties, opting for a joint approach for its Beach and Caribbean concepts too.
“Piel de Sapo is a dark-green, striped melon with a light-coloured flesh," said Vincent van Wolferen, marketing specialist melon at Rijk Zwaan. "It always tops the list for flavour in our consumer research. The melon is very well known and loved in Spain but less so in northern Europe, so we’re keen to change that."
This summer, Rijk Zwaan is launching an online campaign which will run on its own Love my Salad platform and on Facebook as well as other channels. “We are working in close collaboration with food bloggers and retailers in the Netherlands, the UK and Scandinavia." van Wolferen added. "We’re aligning our online promotion with our partners’ sales activities.”
The company is putting other melons in the spotlight too, such as Cayucos Beach RZ – a Cantaloupe type which is golden yellow on the outside and orange on the inside.
"Cayucos Beach RZ is the first variety in our Beach concept, which is focused on combining great flavour with extended shelf life because a traditional Cantaloupe is very tasty but does not stay fresh for long," he continued. "We launched this Beach melon, which conjures up a sense of sun, sea and sand, at the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans. We promote all our Beach varieties in style – presented as a mini ice cream, with frisbees and surfboards – in conjunction with our chain partners as much as possible.”
Rijk Zwaan is also investing in another Cantaloupe concept with a long shelf life , called Caribbean. A third variety, Caribbean Victory RZ, was recently added to the existing range comprising the Caribbean Gold RZ and Caribbean King RZ varieties.
“These varieties are for winter production as well as summer production, so consumers can enjoy tasty Cantaloupes all year round – which is important both for retailers and for processing companies," van Wolferen explained. "And our consumer research shows that Caribbeans are noticeably sweeter than comparable melons."