Sakata's Dale Palmer Discusses Infinite Gold Cantaloupe Season
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
MORGAN HILL, CA - Sweet summer treats inherently include melons, and as the Infinite Gold cantaloupe season approaches, Sakata Seed is anticipating a strong one to help retailers keep lasting, tasty cantaloupe on the shelf.
“We are always striving to create a better-quality cantaloupe, like that of what was on the shelf ten years ago before the first long shelf-life (LSL) melons hit the market. We are very fortunate in having Infinite Gold, which I would say is the highest-quality LSL on the market,” Dale Palmer, DSW Area Sales Manager and all around melon expert, tells me. “The flavor, aroma, and feel as far as melons go for this market is the closest to that we associate with a Western Shipper, or traditional domestic cantaloupes.”
Likely to start harvesting late this week at the earliest, the Infinite Gold season is reported to be looking good in both quality and volume. Dale shares that Mother Nature pushed harvest back slightly from the anticipated dates due to a cold spell early on during planting in February, but nothing that would greatly offset the season.
In fact, aside from coming along at a steadier pace than usual, he assures me the fruit itself is doing great.
“Quality has not been bad so far for all our front-end varieties, and we’re expecting the same for Infinite Gold,” he shares. “Infinite Gold will likely be available on the shelf on or just after Memorial Day. After the holiday we will definitely see heavy volume.”
LSL cantaloupes, as their title implies, hold a firmer flesh than the traditional Western Shipper that led to their ability to stay on the shelf for an additional 5 to 9 days. Sakata Seed, committed to answering a need in the market for these longer lasting melons to also bring the flavor, texture, and aroma their traditional counterparts offer, is tirelessly working to bring retailers even more LSL varieties like, or even better than, Infinite Gold.
“We are looking at two new varieties at the moment to complement the Infinite Gold season,” Dale explains, commenting that he no doubt sees hundreds of varieties a year as the company strives to, essentially, bring to market a traditional cantaloupe that offers a longer shelf-life. “One larger variety would be at the ideal size just before Infinite Gold is harvested and the other is smaller and would be ready for harvest around or after Infinite Gold’s season dies down.”
So, as consumers look to add some cantaloupe goodness to their margaritas, fruit salads, grills, or just as raw slices to bite into, keep on the lookout for the variety that meets their flavor desires without adding to your shrink.