(Oct. 30, 1:01 p.m.) ORLANDO, Fla. — A watermelon in a lunch box?

Sounds like a magic trick, but Ayco Farms Inc. hopes to make it happen for real sometime early next year.

The Pompano Beach, Fla.-based company will soon begin marketing a “super mini” watermelon that’s about the size of an orange, said Avi Nir, president.

After a year of tinkering by an Israel-based breeder, a suitable variety was found, and the company rolled it out Oct. 24-27 at Fresh Summit 2008 in Orlando, Fla.

The target audiences for the miniature watermelon, to be marketed under the brand name Super Mini Me, are restaurants and kids’ lunch boxes, Nir said.

The melon will be grown in Central America this winter. Production will then shift to Florida, Georgia and North Carolina in the spring.

Fruit will have some seeds in early production, but by later in 2009 it should be a seedless product, Nir said.

The Super Mini Me should be on store shelves by February, Nir said.

Because of its size, the Super Mini Me will be less expensive to export and should be an attractive market for European, Canadian and other export markets, said Ken Kodish, key account manager.

PMA 2008: Ayco Farms debuts miniature watermelon
The target audiences for Ayco Farms' Super Mini Me watermelon (left) are restaurants and kids’ lunch boxes, says company president Avi Nir.

Courtesy Ayco Farms Inc.