Walmart Partners With Bayer to Develop The Sweet Spark Cantaloupe
- by Eva Roethler
BENTONVILLE, AR - With incoming discount retailers Lidl and Aldi positioned to shake up U.S. markets and retailers looking to differentiate themselves, according to The Washington Post, Walmart is reportedly working with the agriculture giant Bayer to develop its own variety of “designer” winter cantaloupe. The melon, known as The Sweet Spark, is 40 percent sweeter than other winter melons.
“We sell 10 times as many cantaloupes in the summer than during the fall and winter,” said Molly Blakeman, National Media Relations for Walmart. “When we looked closer, it was easy to identify why cantaloupe sales dropped off: They weren’t as good in the wintertime as they were in the summertime. This was our way of fixing that.”
Bayer helped to create the new variety, testing 20 different seed types, while Walmart spent six months evaluating the fruit, according to the source.
“We are proud to work with Walmart and our grower partners to deliver flavorful solutions on shelf. We look forward to continuing our progress with cantaloupe and additional items in the produce aisle. The best is yet to come," Bayer said in a statement to AndNowUKnow.
Employees were involved in the process, rating the fruits attributes and voting on the variety name.
“If you try to frame what we’re doing, it’s pretty simple: We’re trying to win customers,” Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive of Walmart, told reporters earlier this month. “We’re working on cost and price. We’re working on assortment.”
How else will retailers make their mark in the changing landscape? Follow along with AndNowUKnow as we report.