Sakata Seed America Promoting New Long Shelf Life Melon Variety: Infinite Gold
- by Kyle Braver
MORGAN HILL, CA - Long Shelf Life (LSL) is the latest hot produce trend to hit the growers of the San Joaquin Valley. Zach Wortiska, Assistant Western Product Manager for Melons, and Gattis Guffey, Sales Manager/Southeast Region and Watermelon and Melon Product Manager, sat down to explain how Sakata is leading the way with its new variety: Infinite Gold LSL.
“Infinite Gold melon is gaining a lot of attention due to the awesome combination of long shelf life holding ability and fantastic flavor,” Zach explained. “LSL melons provide benefits at all levels of the value chain. Growers are seeing the benefit from the holding ability. Plus, they are also saving harvest costs because they only harvest a LSL melon field two to three times, compared to a western shipper cantaloupe where a grower can be harvesting a field more than eight times. This is especially important due to labor shortages.”
“This characteristic gives the grower more flexibility as harvest time approaches,” Gattis elaborated. “With Infinite Gold’s longer holding ability in and out of the field, growers are able to ship high-quality fruit longer distances and retailers enjoy longer holding ability on the shelf...the consumer is receiving a high quality cantaloupe with excellent flavor. This means that the consumer will return for another purchase, which means the retailer is selling more!”
Going forward, Sakata is promoting awareness, education, and acceptance for this new product among retailers and growers alike. Previous attempts at a LSL melon by rival companies often lacked the strong flavor this new variety boasts, leaving a bad impression on the market for LSL melons, according to Zach and Gattis. Sakata shares, however, that it is up to the challenge of making the difference between its own offering and these failed varieties clear.
“One other thing to mention - Infinite Gold, like other LSL melons, looks a little different than traditional western shippers, not quite as tan colored,” Gattis added. “However, once retailers and growers understand that the difference is only skin deep and that the flavor and shelf life are really phenomenal – those issues just melt away.”
This awareness campaign includes the release of a new video, explaining to growers about the best time to harvest Infinite Gold melons. Check it out for yourself below:
In addition to Infinite Gold, Sakata is also working on other exciting new varieties such as Timeless Gold. Together with Infinite Gold, these varieties look like promising additions to the produce aisle and ones I will certainly be keeping my eyes on.