Watermelon was grown by the ancient Egyptians and it's still evolving today. More than 300 varieties of watermelon are cultivated in the United States and South America, where complementary growing seasons provide a year-round supply of watermelon in an array of shapes, colors and sizes. Because there are so many varieties, they are often grouped according to characteristics, like fruit shape, rind color or pattern, and size.
Because of new developments in watermelon varieties, the market for watermelon continues to grow and change. More than a decade ago, the development of seedless varieties revolutionized the watermelon market, making this age-old fruit appealing to today's more discriminating consumers. Other varieties, like yellow and orange flesh watermelon, have also created additional intrigue and appeal, opening up the market to new consumers.
So what's next in the world of watermelon? We can't say, but you can be sure that whatever it is, the NWPB will play in integral role in bringing it to you.
The most common watermelon options are:
- Seeded: The classic watermelon comes in a wide range of sizes. (15-45 lb, round, long, oblong)
- Seedless: Due to high demand, the majority of watermelon cultivars grown today are seedless – and they are getting redder and crisper thanks to seed breeding advancements. They are not the result of genetic engineering, but rather hybridization – the crossing of two different types of watermelons. (10-25 lb, round to oblong)
- Mini: Petite “personal watermelons” are easy to handle and their thinner rinds can mean more flesh per pound. Hollow them out for a compostable serving bowl. (1-7 lb, round)
- Yellow & Orange: Generally sweeter than red-fleshed watermelon, yellow and orange varieties add a surprising element to the plate or glass. (10-30 lb, round)
Watermelon is not just a summer fruit - it is delicious, nutritious and available year-round! The United States produces its own watermelon April through November, and the rest of the year it is imported. View the updated peak production calendar, covering US grown and imported watermelons.