May 10, 2022
Pure Flavor has launched the fresh produce industry’s first commercial greenhouse-grown melons, which will be branded under the Solara name, said the Leamington, Ontario-based company in a press release.
“After many years of research and development, we are excited to bring the first commercially available greenhouse-grown melons to market,” President Jamie Moracci, said in a release.
While many varieties had been put through rigorous product testing since the development process began in 2014, the company has homed in on an exclusive variety that is scalable productionwise and checks all the boxes to meet product, brand, retail, foodservice and consumer expectations, according to Pure Flavor.
Partnering with Cornell University during the product development process, Pure Flavor’s research and development team gained insights on both product and plant health to help maximize yield and flavor.
“Our product trials told us a great deal; we knew that it had to be something special that we could scale commercially to meet the demand. After eight years, we have launched a unique product that our customers are excited about and will breathe new life into the category,” Moracci said.
Pure Flavor describes the new Solara melons as “mildly cool, sweet and juicy.” The company added that Solara melons are “the first personal-sized, sustainably grown melons from greenhouses that use just the right amount of light, nutrition and water to deliver the same sweet, tastefully tropical flavor, regardless of the season.”
“It’s paradise in the palm of your hand,” Matt Mastronardi, executive vice president, said in the release. “Roughly 500 grams in size, the sweetness and personal size of the Solara melon makes it a great partner with foods like prosciutto, shrimp, basil, mint, pistachios — we are even using the melon as a yogurt and granola snack. The product pairings are endless.”
As a single-serve opportunity, Pure Flavor also sees reducing food waste as a key product trait of the Solara melon. Once the melon is sliced in half, it is easy to scoop out the small seed cavity for consumption, said the company. The new personal-sized melons are available in both single and multipack formats.
Pure Flavor chose the name “Solara” (Latin for “of the sun”) because it connotes a tropical setting and a “Fresh Taste of Paradise,” which is the slogan Pure Flavor developed for it, said the company.
“The consumer-centric brand strategy is simple — it’s the one sitting snack, meal, appetizer, post-workout rehydrator. It’s for me and only me. [It] fits in the palm of my hand … It’s the ‘me’ melon,” Chris Veillon, chief marketing officer, said.
Like other products in the Pure Flavor snacking line, the Solara personal-sized melon product launch will be supported with digital content that includes a wide variety of recipes and a detailed “goes well with” feature, said Veillon.
“The strategic investment in research and development is done to help grow the industry and help increase fresh produce consumption,” Moracci added. “We are working on more melon varieties and look forward to rolling them out shortly.”