Average supermarket prices have reportedly increased over the past few years, helping to reduce the impact of rising costs

Italian melon suppliers have reportedly savoured a notable increase in average retail prices on their domestic market over the past few years.

According to research published by Agroter, supermarket prices increased by almost 40 per cent during the five-year period 2019-2023, while the total volume sold was down slightly by 4 per cent during that same period.

In May, Agroter reported an above-average rise in sales prices as a result of fewer discount campaigns across Italy’s major retail chains. “This shows that melons are not a loss leader but a strategic one which brings value to the produce department,” it said.

News of higher prices will be welcomed by producers who face a marked increase in costs. Francesca Nadalini, vice-president of Sermide Ortofruit, told Italiafruit this week that costs in melon production were “innumerable and often unpredictable”.

As a direct result of the conflict in Ukraine, energy prices have soared, she observed. Climate change has also created new challenges, she said. “In greenhouse production, we are seeing a reduction in the roofs’ lifespan, probably due to more pronounced temperature changes compared with the past, and this leads to an inevitable increase in costs.”