Fruit salad just isn't the same when it's not the summer - and not just because it's best served during a Fourth of July barbecue. Some of the fruit is just not as good when you get it out of season - but Today.com reports Walmart has invented a brand-new fruit to change that.
Walmart worked with Bayer to develop the "Sweet Spark," a cantaloupe variety that is nearly twice as sweet as a typical cantaloupe you'd get in the winter. The goal was to develop a melon that could be grown outside of the typical summer season, but still taste great.
Previously, in colder months they got melons shipped from Central America, but they were focusing on fruit that could easily survive the trip, not fruit that tasted great. "Problem is, the industry forgot about flavor along the way," Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman told the site. "We had cantaloupes that were firm and looked nice on the shelf, but they didn't really taste like cantaloupes."
A Walmart exec was more blunt in an interview with Bloomberg: "They're engineered to make a 3,000-mile trip, so they look good but taste like a piece of wood," Shawn Baldwin, their vice president for produce and global food sourcing, said.
At this point, Walmart sells 10 times as many cantaloupes in June than it does in December, and the company is hoping to change that with its designer melon. The finished product came after testing more than 20 types of seeds and analyzing different varieties for six months. The name, Sweet Spark, is a reference to Walmart's logo.
But you can't get your hands on the Sweet Spark just yet, since it's still prime season to get normal cantaloupe. Instead, check for it at your local Walmart this December, according to Today.com. And next up for designer produce is tomatoes: Walmart told Bloomberg it wants to replicate the deliciousness of the San Marzano tomatoes you can get in Italy.
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