Melons suffer the consequences of their lack of flavour and watermelons make the most of it.
Melons and watermelons have been shown to be interchangeable summertime fruits when one or other lacks flavour. For this reason, the production trends are leaning towards watermelons.
In Almeria, the earliest producing region, the watermelon surface area has been slightly increased compared to the previous campaign, at the expense of melon surface area.
The development of new varieties, adapted to the province’s growing conditions has re-launched this crop, whilst at the same time; its consumption is on the rise.
The general trend in melons, for virtually all the varieties, shows a drop in production. “Faced with the lack of flavour or the little guarantee given by melons, consumers have partially replaced melon consumption with watermelons. This is a general trend that we have been recording for years and that the seed companies should take very seriously,” different operators from the sector explained to this publication.
By varieties, yellow melons have had many quality problems in recent campaigns, with a low demand, whilst Galia melons are not managing to satisfy consumers.
The Galia melons grown in Almeria are not reaching the organoleptic qualities requested by consumers and this is added to the fact that the retailers concentrate their orders on two types of sizes that are not being correctly obtained by the producers. These are the reasons behind the clear decline being experienced by this variety.
In recent years, the Piel de Sapo melon is one of the few melon types that have been profitable for producers. It has a long shelf life and if it is cut at the correct point of ripeness, it has good organoleptic qualities. With the years, it is becoming increasingly well known and demanded by European retailers which, uniquely, are ordering smaller sizes than Spanish supermarkets, where the larger fruit is sent.
“It is also true, however, that in Spain either smaller melons are being requested, more in line with the new family units, or retailers have resorted to selling half units, a system that is becoming more and more generalised every day, both for watermelons and for melons,” the same sources state.