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A Quarterly Look at the Watermelon Industry

Centennial Celebration

Celebrating 100 Years of the National Watermelon Association

Happy Birthday to Us

Watermelon is as much a part of Americana as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and any car, but it predates all of those things by several millennia. And as the National Watermelon Association, the produce industry’s oldest trade group, prepares for its Centennial Celebration, it is worth noting that the NWA itself is only younger than those other institutions by a tad — except apple pie, which dates back at least to a published recipe from England in 1381. But the first professional baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings (1869), the first known reference in print to the modern “hot dog” came in the Dec. 31, 1892, edition of the Paterson (NJ) Daily Press, Henry Ford founded the Detroit Automobile Company on Aug. 5, 1899 (it failed two years later) and Chevrolet did not appear on the scene until Nov. 3, 1911 – just a few months before the NWA began to come together. In 1913, there really was not a U.S. watermelon industry to speak of. The product, while beloved and a timehonored favorite, was fragile. Transportation was a challenge. For the most part, watermelon was eaten where it was grown and only in season. But there were visionary farmers who believed they could turn a family favorite into a national commodity. Boy, were they right. Those watermelon growers started holding informal talks in the early part of 1913. As the year progressed, objections and obstacles were examined and overcome. In March 1914, the group gathered in Atlanta for the first time as an assembly. They left as the National Watermelon Association. Well, technically they left as the Melon Distributors Association. In 1945, the

NOTABLE QUOTE Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius's personal physician Galen (129-216 A.D.)

name changed to the Watermelon Growers & Distributors Association. In 1969 that grew to the National Watermelon Growers & Distributors Association Inc. Finally, in 1977, after one more change the organization became the National Watermelon Association, Inc. Today the NWA has nine chapters: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois-Indiana, Maryland-Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Western. As that first meeting of the NWA took

called him “The Babe” – a nickname that followed Mr. Ruth to the Hall of Fame. Think of all that has happened since. World War I. World War II. The invention of the computer. The space race. Men on the moon. The fall of the Soviet Union. The seedless watermelon. Watermelon — Citrullus lanatus — is a member of the cucumber family that almost certainly has its origins in ancient tropical Africa. Botanists believed watermelon originated in China until explorer

place in Atlanta, Ronald Reagan had just celebrated his second birthday in Dixon, IL. Charlie Chaplin’s first film, “Making a Living”, was still playing in theaters. A pilot named Tony Jannus had six weeks earlier completed the world’s first scheduled commercial airline flight, a 23minute jaunt between St. Petersburg and Tampa, FL. And a 19-year-old baseball player named George had been a professional for exactly one month, signing with the Baltimore Orioles that February; he looked so young his teammates

Dr. David Livingston found sweet, bland and bitter varieties of the fruit growing wild in central Africa in the 1860s, a fact he – presumably — reported to Henry Stanley, the man who found him after a six-year disappearance. Anthropologists know watermelon was farmed as early as the second millennium BC in the Nile Valley of Egypt. Seeds have been found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, including Tutankhaman (a.k.a. King Tut). By the 10th century AD, watermelons were being cultivated in China. By the 13th century, Moorish invaders “The nature of watermelons is generally rather had introduced the fruit to Europe in chilling and contains a great deal of moisture, yet the area that is now Spain and Porthey possess a certain purgative quality. Their tugal. By the 16th century, even-earcleansing action you can discover for yourself; lier explorers had introduced Native just rub them on dirty skin. Watermelons will Americans to watermelon, and early remove the following: freckles, facial moles, or French visitors found them growing epidemic leprosy, if anyone should have these it in the Mississippi Valley. In 1615, conditions.” the word “watermelon” made its first


appearance in an English dictionary. And many sources say Massachusetts colonists who arrived on the Mayflower were growing watermelon as early as 1629. By 1664, there were reports of Native Americans farming watermelon in Florida. The first recorded watermelon growing in the midwestern states was noted in 1673. Connecticut joined the list by 1747, the Colorado region came aboard by 1799 and the Indiana-Illinois area was first mentioned as a watermelon producer in 1822. Today, more than 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown around the world, ranging from miniatures to 200-pound monsters that are the product of the Carolina Cross, which produced the current world record watermelon (262 pounds) and provides fruit that typically weighs between 65 and 150 pounds. The modern evolution of the watermelon runs from USDA botanist Charles Frederic Andrus’ Charleston Gray, which revolutionized the industry in 1954 by providing a tougher shell and the now-familiar oblong shape that made stacking possible, to Professor Hitoshi Kihara’s first successful seedless commercial varieties in the 1950s, to the square watermelons now grown in Japan’s Zentsuji region in glass boxes, to the Densuke watermelon, another Japanese native that is solid black, grown only on the island of Hokkaido and sells for as much as $250 (one of the first Densuke watermelons, grown in 2008, was auctioned off for a staggering $6,300). As was the case for the visionaries who founded the NWA 100 years ago, it is impossible to project where watermelon, the NWA and the world will be in 100 years, or 500, or 1000. But it is a safe bet that if there are still people around, they will still be eating watermelon and whether they are represented by the National Watermelon Association, the World Watermelon Association or the Intergalactic Watermelon Association, other people will still be growing it. Happy 100th! — Chip Carter

A Century of Service: The National Watermelon Association and You By Bob Morrissey Executive Director, National Watermelon Association

number of predictions about what the world would be like today in an article in the Ladies Home Journal. “These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible,” Mr. Watkins wrote. Tell me, does this sound strange now? 100 years. That’s a very long time. “Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance. If there be a battle in China The oldest of us were not yet born. The youngest a hundred years hence, snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the of us were not yet thought of. Yet, we were already here. Our forebears, hardy newspapers an hour later.” Sounds like a digital camera and email, or an iPhone and the Internet to me. souls who made their living off the land, were beginMr. Watkins also predicted “Americans will be taller by from one to two inches,” ning to talk about forming some sort of association to help sell more watermelons. They knew, as do which they are; “Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world,” we, that there is strength in numbers, power in orga- which they do; “Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to nization, profit in cooperation. As 1913 gave way to our bakeries,” which happens daily; “Man will see around the world. Persons and 1914, talk became more focused and in March of the latter year, the founders of things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with what is today known as the National Watermelon Association met for the first time screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span,” which certainly sounds like television to me. as a group in Atlanta, GA. Of course, Mr. Watkins also predicted we would have strawberries the size of It’s hard to imagine what was on the minds of those first delegates as they gathered in Atlanta. Most of that has been lost to history. But a century later, we are the apples, “Mosquitoes, house-flies and roaches will have been exterminated” and beneficiaries of their foresight, and we are grateful for that the opportunity that their “There will be no C, X or Q in our everyday alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary.” imaginations and courage created. Well you can’t win ‘em all. But we will certainly continue to try. We have never lost sight of the goals of that original group of growers and shipWe have no better odds of predicting the future than Mr. Watkins did, but I can pers, though we have worked hard to diversify and better represent our product around the globe. We have power in Washington, DC, through our ceaseless lobby- assure you we will continue to work at the legislative, production research, food ing efforts and relationships. We sell watermelons in Japan and other locales, safety and traceability, and marketing side of the watermelon business as diligently unthinkable 100 years ago, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our market- as you do growing, shipping and selling them. I know I speak not only for myself ing arm, the National Watermelon Promotion Board. We are fortunate to learn from but also for my compatriots at the National Watermelon Promotion Board when I say that it is an honor and a privilege to represent you. current members that created the NWPB to advance the cause even further. Because you are us: the National Watermelon Association, no single member or A century ago, an American civil engineer named John Elfreth Watkins made a representative more important than any other. Together we have prospered and NOTABLE "Many wagonloads of enormous watermelons were brought to market every day, together we will move forward into an even and I was sure to see groups of men, women, and children seated on the paveQUOTE brighter future for the commodity that has ment sucking in prodigious quantities of this fruit. Their manner of devouring them Frances Trollope given all of us so much. is extremely unpleasant. When I first tasted this fruit I thought it very vile stuff ‘Domestic Manners Let the celebration begin — with Waterindeed, but before the end of the season we all learned to like it. When taken of the Americans’ melon Smiles all around! (1832)

with claret and sugar, it makes a delicious wine and water."

Platinum-selling Little Texas and other special guests ready to wow Centennial celebrants It takes something special to wow a crowd at an event as significant as the National Watermelon Association’s 100th Centennial Celebration, scheduled for Feb. 20-24 at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, TX, but the organization has risen to the occasion. The performance part is more than amply covered: platinum-selling country artists Little Texas will headline the Feb. 21 Blue Jeans and Diamonds Celebration Kick Off. The other special guests are shrouded in mystery and will stay that way – for now. “The other guests will be ready for announcement after the November elections — they are not finalized until after that is over,” National Watermelon Association Executive Director Bob Morrissey said cryptically. Despite threats and pressure, Mr. Morrissey remained mum and refused to yield further information. Now if that doesn’t set the bar for high expectations, what does? Well, maybe the appearance of Little Texas, the million-selling fan favorites who have to date scored eight Top 10 hits along with gold, platinum and double-platinum albums. Little Texas first burst on the scene in 1991 with its debut Warner Bros. album “First Time For Everything.” Over the next four years, Little Texas released the double-platinum album “Big Time” and the platinum-selling “Kick a Little.” Along the way they landed seven more songs in the Top 10: “You and Forever and Me” (#5), “What Might Have Been” (#2), “Amy’s Back in Austin” (#4), “Life Goes On” (5) and of course the #1 hit “My Love”, “Kick a Little” (#5) and the unofficial new Lone Star State anthem, “God Blessed Texas” (#4). “We’re ecstatic that our friends at the National Watermelon Association chose to bring us home to Texas for their 100th anniversary celebration! Both my father and my grandfather worked hard in the watermelon fields in East Texas and I know they would both be very proud to see Little Texas was chosen to be the entertainers at this prestigious event,” said the band’s Duane Propes. “We can’t wait to get there and ‘Kick A Little’ with everybody!” So, with a family history like that, one can’t help but wonder, was Mr. Propes out in the field with his dad and grandpa? “Hell no, I wasn’t! I saw my granddaddy come in every day covered with sand from head to toe and realized quickly that was not for me,” he laughed. Music, on the other hand, clearly was. Other highlights of the convention include a three-day “History to Remember: Archives and History on Display”, a special peek into the annals of the NWA and

NOTABLE QUOTE Anatole France, 'The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard' (1881)

supporting organizations that will take visitors back in time at least a century. There will also be golf and skeet tournaments and the Westin La Cantera has a full schedule of events planned for spouses and kids. Meanwhile, though no one (except Mr. Morrissey) knows who the other special guests will be, he/she/they are scheduled to appear in a panel discussion entitled, “Politics, The Economy & Agriculture: What Does the Future Hold?” Without a crystal ball, there’s no way to know the answer to that question – nor to know who the invitees will be, though Mr. Morrissey says, “Our special guests will surprise every one of you, so let your curiosity run wild.” We will.

“For three centimes I can eat, drink, and wash my face, all by the means of one of those slices of water-melon you display there on a little table.”



An Interview With Gallagher

“I have spent over $250,000 of my own money on watermelons. I think you guys owe me stock options or something….” No one in modern popular culture has done as much for – or to – watermelons as the comedian Gallagher, known around the world the last 40 years for blending brainy humor with sublime silliness – most memorably for smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer in a parody of television commercial product pitches. It slices, it dices, it makes tons of Julienne fries… Sledge-O-Matic! Between 1980 and 2007, Gallagher made 15 television specials,

Q&A NATIONAL WATERMELON ASSOCIATION — The National Watermelon Association and watermelon growers everywhere owe you a debt of gratitude. By my conservative estimate you’ve purchased at least 10,000 yourself. Sound about right? GALLAGHER — No, we just worked this out recently. I have done 200 shows a year for 35 years, use about nine watermelons a show — so that’s 63,000 watermelons. I have spent over $250,000 of my own money on watermelons. I think you guys owe me stock options or something. NWA — How do you select the perfect watermelon? GALLAGHER — I actually try to take the watermelons other people might not buy for eating, since mine won’t be consumed. NWA — No one has done more for – or to – watermelons. Do you ever actually eat them?

GALLAGHER — Sure, I love them. But I don’t exactly stock my fridge with it at home. NWA — While Sledge-OMatic is what made you famous, it’s actually a small part of your comedy, which is always refreshingly cerebral and typically topical. And the Sledge-O-Matic routine itself is both slapstick – a lower, reactionary form of humor – and satire, which is one of the higher forms of humor. Do you ever think about that, or is it just fun busting stuff up? GALLAGHER — I don’t think it’s what made me famous, it’s what people remember me by. I was already famous before I smashed anything on TV. By the time I had been smashing in my TV specials I had been on HBO, Johnny Carson, the Midnight Special and lots of stuff. But the routine was meant to be a simple exaggeration of something I thought was already unintentionally funny, which is why parody works so well. And since I had both the

most of them for the Showtime Network, and was the top-earning comedian in the world in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2003, he finished 16th out of 135 candidates in the California gubernatorial election. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked him in the top 100 best stand-up comedians of all time. Despite three heart attacks between March 2011 and March 2012, he is still working and actively pursuing new projects. In honor of the National Watermelon Association’s 100th anniversary, Gallagher was gracious enough to grant us an exclusive interview about his career, upcoming work and – most fascinatingly – some insight into the art of busting watermelons…

intellectual comedy and the visual of the smashing, it appealed to both the adult and kid in everyone, which is why I have been able to last all these years. It reminds them of their youth. NWA — Is it as much fun as it looks? I guess any of us could try it ourselves but perhaps lack the courage… GALLAGHER — Look, if it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t have a career. By now, either I would get bored or the audience would. Who doesn’t like making a mess and destroying things, but in public and with permission?! NWA — Do you remember the first time you thought of the Sledge-O-Matic routine? Was watermelon part of the first performance? How did those first few performances with it go over? GALLAGHER – It was always a good bit. What changed was how I did it. You can’t just smack a solid watermelon, it doesn’t spray the right way. So I learned the science of it,


how to cut it in the right places, what other things to add to it, which trays to put it on to help it propel into the audience the way I wanted it to. In the beginning it was a bit, and then I turned it into a science. NWA — That’s one huge chunk of wood. How much does that thing weigh? GALLAGHER — I have had a few over the years. I would say about 12-15 pounds. NWA — Who handles the cleanup?!?

commercials a long time ago for Budweiser and others, but never really did any real acting. Now I am playing ‘Abib The Astrologer’ in the movie ‘The Book Of Daniel’. I play the guy who tells King Nebuchadnezzar what he wants to hear before Daniel interprets his dream correctly. Can you believe my first film is a book about the Bible? Pretty ironic for a guy who isn’t religious. I also have a new TV sitcom we almost have a deal for called ‘Life With Gallagher’ and a few other projects still working. You never know how these things go, but you’ll see me.

GALLAGHER — Not me... NWA — Most recently, we saw you in an all-too-brief spot in a GEICO commercial. Now I understand you are working on a movie and preparing for another tour. How much can you tell us about those projects? GALLAGHER — Well, after I had a heart attack I didn’t want to do too much. Then this commercial came up and I really enjoyed it. I did a few

NWA — On behalf of the NWA and people who make their living growing, shipping and selling watermelons, thank you very much for the exposure – and the laughter – and we look forward to seeing you again very soon. GALLAGHER — I tried retirement and it didn’t take. I tried dying and that didn’t take either. So I am sure you will see me around. — Interview by Chip Carter for the NWA

In 1895, Twain embarked on a world-wide lecture tour focusing on morals around the globe. The following is from an appearance at Music Hall in Cleveland, OH in 1895, first published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and reprinted in the New York Times June 23, 1895

Mark Twain on


Watermelons Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, author Mark Twain was a bit obsessed with watermelons. Most famously, he wrote in the 1893 novel Pudd’nHead Wilson,“It is the chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.” Here are two rarely published Twain watermelon tales, one from a short story, the other from a lecture. When Mark Twain was a boy, he worked in a newspaper office in Hannibal, MO. Residents of the town still point to the window where the incident described in this story took place.


t was during my first year’s apprenticeship in the Courier office that I did a thing which I have been trying to regret for 55 years. It was a summer afternoon and just the kind of weather that a boy prizes for river excursions and other frolics, but I was a prisoner. The others were all gone holidaying. I was alone and sad. I had committed a crime of some sort and this was the punishment. I must lose my holiday, and spend the afternoon in solitude besides. I had the printing office all to myself, there in the third story. I had one comfort, and it was a generous one while it lasted. It was the half of a long and broad watermelon, fresh and red and ripe. I gouged it out with a knife, and I found accommodation for the whole of it in my person—though it did crowd me until the juice ran out of my ears. There remained then the shell, the hollow shell. It was big enough to do duty as a cradle. I didn’t want to waste it, and I couldn’t think of anything to do with it which could afford entertainment. I was sitting at the open window which looked out upon the sidewalk of the main street three stories below, when it occurred to me to drop it on someone’s head. I doubted the judiciousness of this, and I had some compunctions about it, too, because so much of the resulting entertainment would fall to my share and so little to the other person. But I thought I would chance it. I watched out of the window for the right person to come along—the safe person—but he didn’t come. Every time there was a candidate he or she turned out to be an unsafe one, and I had to restrain myself. But at last I saw the right one coming. It was my brother Henry. He was the best boy in the whole region. He never did harm to anybody, he never offended anybody. He was exasperatingly good. He had an overflowing abundance of goodness—but not enough

to save him this time. I watched his approach with eager interest. He came strolling along, dreaming his pleasant summer dream and not doubting that Providence had in his care. If he had known where I was he would have less confidence in that superstition. As he approached his form became more and more foreshortened. When he was almost under me he was so foreshortened that nothing of him was visible from my high place except the end of his nose and his alternately approaching feet. Then I poised the watermelon, calculated my distance, and let it go, hollow side down. The accuracy of that gunnery was beyond admiration. He had about six steps to make when I let that canoe go, and it was lovely to see those two bodies gradually closing in on each other. If he had seven steps to make, or five steps to make, my gunnery would have been a failure. But he had exactly the right number to make, and that shell smashed down right on the top of his head and drove him into the earth up to the chin, the chunks of that broken melon flying in every direction like a spray. I wanted to go down there and condole with him, but it would not have been safe. He would have suspected me at once. I expected him to suspect me, anyway, but as he said nothing about this adventure for two or three days—I was watching him in the meanwhile in order to keep out of danger—I was deceived into believing that this time he didn’t suspect me. It was a mistake. He was only waiting for a sure opportunity. Then he landed a cobblestone on the side of my head which raised a bump there so large that I had to wear two hats for a time. I carried this crime to my mother, for I was always anxious to get Henry into trouble with her and could never succeed. I thought that I had a sure case this time when she should come to see that murderous bump. I showed it to her, but she said it was no matter. She didn’t need to inquire into the circumstances. She knew I had deserved it, and the best way would be for me to accept it as a valuable lesson, and thereby get profit out of it.

he first time that I ever stole a watermelon — I think it was the first, but this is no matter, it was right along there somewhere — I carried that watermelon to a secluded bower. You may call it a bower, and I suppose you may not. I carried that watermelon to a secluded bower in the lumber yard, and broke it open and it was green. “Now then, I began to reflect; there is the virtual — that is the beginning of reformation, when you reflect. When you do not reflect, that transgression is wasted on you. I began to reflect, and I said to myself, I have done wrong; it was wrong in me to steal that watermelon — that kind of watermelon. And I said to myself: Now what would a right-minded and right-intentioned boy do, who found that he had done wrong — stolen a watermelon like this. What would he do, what must he do? Do right; restitution; make restitution. He must restore that property to its owner; and I resolved to do that, and the moment I made that good resolution I felt that electrical moral uplift which becomes a victory over wrongdoing. “I was spiritually strengthened and refreshed, and carried that watermelon back to that wagon and gave it to the farmer — restored it to him, and I told him he ought to be ashamed of himself going around working off green watermelons in that way on people who had confidence in him, and I told him in my perfectly frank manner it was wrong. I said that if he did not stop he could not have my custom and he was ashamed. “He was ashamed; he said he would never do it again, and I believe that I did that man a good turn, as well as one for myself. He did reform; I was severe with him a little, but that was all. I restored the watermelon and made him give me a ripe one. I morally helped him, and I have no doubt that I helped myself the same time, for that was a lesson which remained with me for my perfection. Ever since that day to this I never stole another one — like that.”

NOTABLE QUOTE Opera star Enrico Caruso

"Watermelon -- it's a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face."



NWPB offers free point-of-sale materials and social media support, training to help retailers move more watermelons Nothing motivates consumers like new ideas. That’s why the National Watermelon Promotion Board is constantly creating new recipes, contests and point-of-sale materials to help retailers move more watermelons – and entice consumers to buy even more. Even better, the NWPB is ready and willing to help retailers with training and promo-

tional materials at no cost. The National Watermelon Promotion Board was an early adopter of using social media to build and promote product but is also savvy enough to understand that traditional methods of marketing, like point-of-sale display materials, are still critical to keep watermelon sales — and profits — rising.

Recently the NWPB has rolled out a new series of recipe cards and marketing materials that focus on even wider-ranging uses for watermelon, from drinks and special desserts to use as an entrĂŠe or main ingredient in world cuisine. “Retailers have had to deal with budget cuts like everyone else. Now they’re looking for help with things like point-ofsale marketing materials, and we’re very proud that we can offer those for free,â€? said NWPB Director of Public Relations and Social Media Stephanie Barlow. “Historically, retailers put out bins of watermelons when they push them at their best prices. We’ve seen the numbers that show fourcolor, high-graphic bins that can display a health message or a child-friendly message can help sell more watermelons at any time, not just for holidays or summer, but for back-toschool and even into the winter season. When you walk into the produce aisle and it’s right there in front of you in an atten-

tion-grabbing display, it’s hard from recipe cards to kids colorto walk out of the store without ing books.� a watermelon in your shopping There is plenty of support cart.� available at no cost from the Especially if consumers also board’s website or download walk away with a handful of via ftp. Retailers can access new ideas about how to use print-ready bin wraps, posters, watermelon. recipe and promotional materiRetailers who are interested als at no charge, then simply in learning more about how to print as many as they need to maximize watermelon profits spark interest and boost sales. can get free help, too, accord- Most materials are available on ing to NWPB Director of Mar- the NWPB website, watermelketing Gordon Hunt., but feel free to contact “The National Watermelon the board for more information Promotion Board ensures that or ideas. the most up-to-date, accurate There are also opportunities retail studies and research is for retailers to participate in available to retailers so we can display contests, like the one in help you better understand and which Sobey’s Atlantic in Halisupply your customers,� Mr. fax, Nova Scotia, set a new Hunt said. “We also have record in August for a stunning resources that can not only 200-bin display (see photo at help you promote watermelon, left) shattering the previous but can help train your staff record of 180 bins set just last down to the store level in the year. The Sobey’s display was best practices for handling and so impresiive that the NWPB displaying cut or whole water- felt the need to add a new catmelon. We have plenty of free egory to the display contest: point-of-sale material to help Overall best display and largest you promote. And we also offer display, doubling retailers’ free materials to send to your chances to win some great store for consumer giveaways, continued on page W 7

These are examples of the point-of-sale and retail and consumer promotional materials available from the National Watermelon Promotion Board. For more information go to     Plus 23 more tasty tidbits, truths, and facts

 mericans consume more of it than any other melon.  lue cheese tastes great with it. Combine in a salad.  itrulline can help maintain blood ow in the heart.  ice it up and skewer with turkey and cheese for a fun kabob. gypt held the ďŹ rst recorded harvest 5,000 years ago.  avorite idea – enjoy as an appetizer to curb hunger. rill slices and serve with ribs, chicken, or shrimp. ydrate with watermelon straight from the store or juice it.  nspect it. Choose a ďŹ rm, symmetrical one without bruises. ack O’Melons are a fun twist on Halloween, with tastier insides. alahari Desert in Africa is its place of origin.  eader of lycopene, an antioxidant, in fresh fruits and vegetables category. ix with peach yogurt and pineapple for a sweet smoothie. ever out of season. It’s available year-round!  ne watermelon can feed over three dozen people. otassium (9%), Magnesium (7%), and Thiamine (6%) source. uick “cupcakesâ€? with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. inds can be pickled and are delicious with grilled burgers.

!eedless watermelons were invented over 50 years ago. wo - three hundred varieties grow in U.S. and Mexico.

"se seedless slices on your sandwiches. #itamin A helps you see better. Found in watermelon & other fruits. ater – you can’t spell watermelon without it. It makes up 92% of it! $ - out junk food for kids and replace with this sweet treat. %ellow and orange are two different types you can try. &ero saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium in a standard serving.


NWPB offers free point-of-sale materials and social media support, training to help retailers move more watermelons continued from page W 6 prizes. In recent years, the NWPB had focused more on consumer usage marketing — recipe cards, safety information, stickers promoting health benefits, “using the advertising space we have on the watermelon,� Ms. Barlow said — than on POS materials. The return to the good ol’ days of

free POS materials is a response to retailers wanting to do more to move watermelons. But while traditional media still helps move watermelons, newer methods become more important every day. The NWPB maintains a retail- and consumer-friendly website,, as well as a Facebook page and Twitter feed that are growing in popu-

larity. The board has also launched a “stealth� social media campaign to link with retailers and other groups that can benefit from watermelon’s health and nutrition messages. Ms. Barlow sifts through mountains of data daily, looking for consumer trends and seeking compatible matches for the board’s positive promotions. Look for messages from the NWPB on Facebook pages and websites of major retailers and other groups. “This is one of those areas where we benefit as being a whole food and not a particular brand,� Ms. Barlow noted. “If we go to any retailer’s website or company we like and say hello from the NWPB, we’re not pushing brand identity down anybody’s throat, we’re just saying here it is. We want to associate the good messages of watermelon with web pages [from groups] we want to be associated with. Pretty much we can put watermelon anywhere and it doesn't come off as corporate-heavy brand pushing.�

The board is also looking for customized and reciprocal approaches to social media with industry partners. “Every retailer in social media is potentially a very good provider for us to have customized relationships. We’d love to have that. We’re can take what we have to say about the wonderful world of watermelons and customize it to make it more personal for a specific website,� Ms. Barlow said. While her research keeps her ahead of the social media curve, Ms. Barlow said, “You can never really get too comfortable. It’s such a dynamic atmosphere. But social media allows you to reach a more varied audience because it allows your target market to receive your news in the way they choose. People who watch the news and read papers are still going to do that, other people are going use DVRs, or subscribe to RSS feeds. With social media, there is a demand and an expectation — it’s not just lecturing, it’s sup-

These are examples of the point-of-sale and retail and consumer promotional materials available from the National Watermelon Promotion Board. For more information go to

Watermelon is so much more than sugar and water. It’s a nutrient dense food that is part of a healthy diet loaded with fruit and vegetables. Here are some watermelon health facts that many people don’t know. Watermelon. . . is the lycopene leader in fresh produce. is the lycopene leader among fresh fruits and vegetables. contains more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.

I Love Watermelon!

contains 15 to 20 mg of lycopene per 2-cup serving.

Makes 6 - 8 servings


Watermelon. Healthy and Delicious. Everyday.

          3 cups small cubes of seedless watermelon 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, cut into strips 3 cups shredded carrots 1 cup Japanese-style ginger dressing 1 cup toasted sliced almonds In an 8 x 11 inch serving dish, layer the spinach on the bottom, then the carrots and the watermelon on top. Pour the dressing over the top and sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately.

gets its red color from the antioxidant lycopene. is cholesterol free. is virtually fat free. is very low in sodium. is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C. is a natural hydrator. Watermelon is 92 percent water and a great way to make sure everyone is getting enough fluids.

watermelon in your diet can help maintain cardiovascular health.

I LOVE WATERMELON I WATERMELON Watermelon Everyday Healthy and Delicious Good for Your Heart Good for You! Mmmmmmmm! Need We Say More? Healthy and Delicious Everyday You Know You Love It Eat All You Want Does Your Heart Good Heart Healthy Healthy for Your Heart

has amino acids citrulline and arginine that help maintain the arteries. amino acids citrulline and arginine can help maintain blood flow and heart health.

    Makes 6 servings

consumption increases citrulline and free arginine, which can help maintain cardiovascular function.

Here are variety of USDA-approved slogans to accompany our new Heart Health logos! When the National Watermelon Promotion Board uses any of these sayings with the Heart Health logo, we include the following FDA statement: While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce this risk.

     2 cups chopped watermelon 2 tablespoons peanut oil 6 cloves garlic, sliced 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and cleaned 1 cup dry roasted and salted peanuts 1 cup prepared Kung Pao sauce Heat the oil in a large heavy sautĂŠ pan or wok over high heat. SautĂŠ the garlic for 30 seconds and then add the shrimp. Stir-fry until the shrimp begin to cook and plump up. Add the peanuts and sautĂŠ another 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low and add the sauce. Simmer just until shrimp are cooked. Remove from heat. Stir in watermelon and serve immediately.


    3 cups de-seeded & chopped watermelon 1/2 cup diced green peppers 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 tablespoon diced cilantro 1 tablespoon diced green onion 1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeĂąo peppers

Arrange 3 pyramids on each of 4 serving serrving plates. T op o with whipped cr eam. Decorate with w the Top cream. white chocolate and shredded shredded coconut coconnut and serve. Garnish with scatter ed miniature miniature chocolate chocolate scattered chips to create create rocky rocky mountain effect. effec ct.

Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or more. Serve with chips or as a garnish for chicken and ďŹ sh.



Dr edge scoop of watermelon in coco onut akes. The scoop Dredge coconut size i should h ld ďŹ t in i an ice i cream cream scooper. scoop per. Mix Mi the th puree puree and d creme martini snowball into the cr eme de cacao in a mar tini glass. Place P center of the glass. Serve immediately. immediate ely. *To *T To make the watermelon puree, puree, remove rem move seeds from from fresh fresh watermelon and cut into large large chunks. chunks. Place in a blender process until smooth and well pureed. p eed. pur and process

Ages 21+

    3 cups cubed seeded watermelon 6 cups torn mixed salad greens 1/2 cup sliced onion 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 dash cracked black pepper In large bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad mixture with oil. Garnish with pepper.

Makes 6 servings

1 scoop chilled watermelon (freeze (freeze at a least 30 minutes) 1/4 cup shredded shredded coconut 1 1/2 ounces chilled watermelon puree* purree* 3/4 ounces chilled creme creme de cacao

Makes 1cocktail


Makes 3 servings

Makes 4 servings



12 slices 3 to 4 inch tall seedless watermelon waatermelon pyramid shapes 1 cup sweetened t d whip hi cream cream 12 ounces shaved white chocolate 3/4 cup sweetened shredded shredded coconut coconut

posed to be back and forth, you listen to your fans or followers, you respond to them personally. At the NWPB we have to address all that. How do we reach every person who loves watermelon and wants to know everything about it, from its great value to great health benefits?� With all this talk of media and marketing, smart retailers should not overlook the obvious, said NWPB analyst Jason Hanselman. “It’s a great quality product that’s going to be out there in abundance. Supermarkets have started to promote it more and more, even if it’s just a bin of watermelons sitting inside the door. Now we provide signage, all kinds of free materials,� Mr. Hanselman said. “Watermelon is such an eye grabber you’d be silly not to have it front and center because it is such an iconic image — everybody sees watermelon and wants one. Kids can go grab one and their parents won’t tell them to take it back.�

Heart-smart watermelon spreads word with heart association seal of approval With consumers paying more attention to the way they eat, watermelon is increasingly becoming a staple of American diets, and the American Heart Association official Heart-Check mark seal of approval lets shoppers know that this tasty treat is healthy as well. Consumers once believed watermelon was simply too good to be good for you. But it is packed with health-enhancing agents like vitamins A and C, the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline, which can improve cardiovascular function and help maintain blood flow within the heart. Watermelon has no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium, and despite its sweetness, is low in calories. “We’ve always known watermelon is good for you,� said Gordon Hunt, director of marketing and communications for the National Watermelon Promotion Board. “The AHA Heart-Check mark officially backs us up.� Retailers have an opportunity to leverage that “good and good for you� message by utilizing the AHA HeartCheck mark in all watermelon promotions and ads. “What better opportunity to move more product from your produce department than a message letting consumers know one of their favorite foods is also helpful in maintaining heart health?� asked Stephanie Barlow, director of public relations and social media for the NWPB. The Heart-Check mark lets consumers quickly and easily spot heart-healthy foods in the supermarket. When they see the Heart-Check mark, shoppers instantly know the food has been certified to meet the AHA’s criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2. Consumers know and trust the American Heart Association as the final authority on heart health; the Heart-Check mark is a powerful and highly visible symbol of that authority. The AHA heart-check mark may be used in the design of ad slicks for printing in newspaper ads or newspaper circulars, and it may be used only with certified products. “There are standard review procedures that must be in place, but by utilizing the Heart-Check mark with watermelon ads, customers will purchase with confidence again and again,� Ms. Barlow said. “It’s a literal win-win situation for everyone.� To find out more – go to



Sponsored by the NWA and its nine chapter members: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois-Indiana, Maryland-Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Western To find out more, visit us online at W8 THE NATIONAL WATERMELON • CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

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