The U.S. watermelon industry is profiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service in this recent data series. The USDA ERS database nabs everything watermelon-related published in the past 30 years, even though some the information is dated. For example, the spreadsheets include "Demographic characteristics of watermelon consumers: 1987" and "Arrivals of fresh watermelon, selected cities, 1985-1998." All in all, though, any professional involved in the watermelon trade will want to review these spreadsheets closely. One thing that caught my eye in the very first spreadsheet was the fact that the market share for imported watermelon - as a percent of U.S. consumption - has risen from 6.9% in 1990 to 22% in 2011.

The per capita consumption has grown modestly, from 13.3 pounds in 1990 to 15 pounds projected for 2011. One thing I did not readily find was an estimation of the total crop that is seedless compared to seeded watermelon.

Other spreadsheets of note in the series:

* Monthly U.S. fresh watermelon imports, 1978-2010

* Selected varieties and characteristics, watermelon

* U.S. watermelon area, yield, production, price & value, 1950-2010

* Watermelon: Usual planting & harvesting dates by State

* Census number of farms with watermelon, States, 1982-2007

* Watermelon seed: U.S. imports by country, 1980-2010

* Seedless watermelon: U.S. imports by country, 2003-2010