The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) conducts menu mention research to understand the opportunity and trends watermelon has in foodservice and to benchmark watermelon’s presence year-over-year. In 2015, the first year of the foodservice program, the NWPB invested in Datassential MenuTrends Research. This database includes menus from more than 7,000 commercial restaurants including independents, regional chains, and national chains in all restaurant segments. Please note, this research includes all mentions of watermelon, not just fresh usage. The NWPB will invest in the same research in 2018 to reexamine trends and track success.

Watermelon Trends Research Graphic


Research Highlights

  • Watermelon is mentioned on 8.4% of commercial restaurant menus scanned in the United States.

  • Watermelon is the 27th most popular fruit by penetration.

  • In the Menu Adoption Cycle consisting of Inception, Adoption, Proliferation and Ubiquity, Watermelon falls in Adoption – a great place to be as the NWPB launches a strategic foodservice program.

  • Watermelon penetration is fairly stable across all regions of the United States, between 8.7% and 9.6% in the West, Midwest, South and Northeast – which means the product is a great fit for national chains as well as regional chains, across the country.

  • Watermelon is featured on 3% of appetizer, entrée, and side menus with appetizers and all day menus featuring American fare, offering watermelon the most.

  • Watermelon is one of the fastest growing fruits on salad menus; penetration increased 50% from 2010 to 2014.

  • Proteins most commonly menued with watermelon are chicken and pork.

  • Watermelon in featured on 1% of dessert menus.

  • Seasonal fruit desserts have increased 20% since 2010 so that might be watermelon’s entre into dessert menus, through limited-time-offers.

  • Watermelon is featured on 6% of beverage menus (includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

  • Watermelon is one of the fastest growing smoothie flavors; increasing 51% since 2010.

  • With casual and fine dining leading the way, 7% of beverages on restaurant cocktail menus include watermelon.

  • Vodka is the top spirit mixed with watermelon.

For more information or to request the full report, please email mmckenna@watermelon.org.

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