14 Jan 2019

Best Beach Melon Yet: Hermosa Beach Cantaloupe Launches in 2019

Growers understand that there are numerous challenges when it comes to producing great melons. To please consumers, a cantaloupe must have visual appeal and excellent flavor. To make retailers happy, a melon has to exhibit the kind of shelf life that delivers solid return on investment. In addition, both groups want year-round availability.

Meeting all these criteria (and others) is no easy task, but a new family of melons developed by Rijk Zwaan is proving it can provide the flavor and aroma consumers crave and the longer-term viability that supports higher profits in an early harvest product.

The Ongoing Evolution of the Melon

Based on input from growers, retailers and consumers, Rijk Zwaan has developed the Beach line of cantaloupes. Displaying attractive golden skin color, great size, high yields, strong aromatics and great flavor, the Cayucos Beach quickly established an excellent reputation in the industry. Following up on that success is the Hermosa Beach, an early maturing melon that is promising to be a game-changer in the year ahead. 

“Hermosa Beach is an early maturing melon with great size and quality,” says Eric Lyerly, a sales representative at Keithly-Williams Seeds. “This is notable in a market segment that typically can struggle with both attributes.”

Early Maturity, Extended Shelf Life and Much More

The first commercial plantings of several hundred acres of the Hermosa Beach melon are taking place in early January by several Southern California and Arizona desert area growers. Retailers who have heard about the variety are eagerly anticipating the delivery of this new Extended Shelf Life cantaloupe. Specifically bred for Southwest and Southeast U.S. growing regions in the California and Arizona deserts, Georgia and the Carolinas, it shows good brix of 13-15 percent, good firmness, a great harvest indicator and exceptional eating flavor – with a few additional days of added shelf life compared to the traditional Western Shipper Melon. 

The Hermosa Beach ranges in size from 9s to 12s, with heavy emphasis on the 9 size, allowing growers to meet the need for larger melons in the early growing segment. Not only can this diversified and widely adapted variety handle sowings from cold to warm temperatures, it also does well with sowings in warm to hot temperatures, including humid environments. Designed for the front end of the spring season in the desert, it will thrive in the fall in Arizona as well.

The crop specialists at Rijk Zwaan are pleased with the characteristics of the Hermosa Beach melon and confident that it will deliver tremendous value for growers and retailers, and quickly become a favorite of consumers.