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:
- Round, long, oblong
-5 to 45 pounds
-Round to oblong
-0 to 25 pounds
-Small white seed coats in the flesh are undeveloped and edible
-Approximately 85% of watermelon cultivars grown today
-1 to 7 pounds
Yellow & Orange:
-Seeded and seedless
-10 to 30 pounds
In addition to fresh watermelon, the watermelon industry is expanding the availability of watermelon in different formats including:
Fresh cut: typically available diced, cubed, planks or slices
Puree: crushed, heat or enzyme-treated to remove pectin and starch, filtered, concentrated to remove water, packaged and sometimes frozen
Juice: may be single strength or concentrated to varying strengths
Consumer demand for watermelon is year-round
- From mid-spring to early fall, watermelon are available from the U.S. - more than 30 states grow watermelon
- From fall to early spring watermelon are available from Central America - mostly Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras