Move Over, Coconuts: Watermelon Water Is The Way To Hydrate

Watermelons consist of naturally purified water, electrolytes and other essential nutrients: In other words, they’re just itching for a run through a cold press. Hydrating has never been more…well, logical! The fact of the matter is that watermelons are hardy as all get-out. They grow best and sweetest where it’s dry (not wet, as some assume), and they grow rampant — so rampant, in fact, that 800 million pounds of watermelon go unused in America every year. Seeing as 92 percent of watermelon is pure water, that’s a prime juicing material bounty. And harvest they do — the good folks at new beverage company WTRMLN WTR are snatching up every unused melon they can get their hands on.

I went to the brand’s headquarters in New York City’s Flatiron District — I actually walked there in order to work up a hearty summer thirst — to chat with cofounder and CEO Jody Levy and her bustling team of watermelon elves. Just kidding, that’s not how it works.

How did you come to rescue and cold-press this huge glut of unused watermelons?

Google. When I read this fact about how much watermelon is wasted, it turned my problem-solving mind on. I’ve worked in every industry: hospitality, television, entertainment, live theatrical stages, automotive — but I’d never played in beverages before, and I got really excited. I realized that there’s a much bigger mission in this on the food-production side, as well as the opportunity to try to create something totally clean that upholds a promise of nutritional value and doesn’t have any sugar or chemicals. Plus, everyone loves watermelon. There’s this emotional connection to watermelon that’s so much fun to develop a brand around.

How do you source your watermelons?

We source from U.S. growers from all over the country — 10 to 12 states, depending on the time of year. The season typically starts in Georgia and Florida, then sweeps west, then back up and around. We pick ours based on the varietals, seasons and weather. We end up taking the seconds, the melons that people don’t want to buy.

For aesthetic reasons?

Think about when you go buy a watermelon: You don’t know what it looks like inside, so you try to find the perfect-looking one. You don’t go for something that’s yellow or scarred or sunburned, but those can be good for juicing! We intrinsically try to find the perfect melon on the inside. Also, a lot of people don’t want seeded melons anymore, and it costs more money to ship them through the supply chain than it does just to till them back into the earth. So we take those melons and press everything but the skin.

Move Over

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