It is easy for busy college students to substitute more convenient, on-the-go options for the nutrients our bodies need. Often, this comes at a cost—available alternatives often fall short of being the most health-conscious. Recently, Fordham College Rose Hill welcomed a new beverage to campus titled H2Melon. The new product combines the active pace of college life with the nutritional benefits of 100 percent natural fruit.
The drink was launched through Fordham Dining’s Twitter feed, and advertisements for the new refreshment can be seen on screens across campus. The appeal of the drink reaches beyond its natural health benefits. The co-founder, Busayo Ogunsanya, is a Fordham alumnus. H2Melon brings a reminder of the warmer summer weather to campus and offers students a healthy and rehydrating alternative to sugary fruit juices.
As the story on H2Melon’s website recounts, the brand was created in New York by two friends. The process of making H2Melon is simple, as it has just one ingredient, watermelon. The fruit is cold-pressed in its entirety to produce the juice–which includes the rind, the flesh and the seeds. From here, the juice is bottled and shipped to a select number of retailers across New York City. Fordham is the only current higher institution retailer of the beverage. The H2Melon brand has experienced success within many different demographics, but especially with younger individuals.
When asked to identify the company’s target consumer, Ogunsanya said, “First, we’re targeting college and grad students who are trying to balance early morning study sessions and late night partying with a healthy, balanced diet. We’re also targeting young, urban men and women, who, like college students, are part of the healthy-food trend. This demographic of consumers is always on the go: running businesses, taking care of little kids – you name it!” The brand’s success with the younger demographic explains why it has become a part of the Fordham community.
Ogunsanya also stressed the importance for college students to consume healthy products. “Students with busy schedules need to be consuming the right products to keep them alert in class and in all of their extracurricular activities,” he said. In order for students to adapt to a healthier way of life and keep up with the fast pace, it is important that healthy and easily accessible options exist.
On campus, a 12-ounce bottle of H2Melon can be purchased for $4.99. Brynn Fiacchi, FCRH ’18, an active student-athlete, recently bought a bottle from The Grille. “It definitely tastes like watermelon, but I would prefer the crunch of fresh fruit rather than its liquefied form,” she said. She also added that she might enjoy the drink more when the weather warms up. Fiacchi won’t return for another, however. “The price is too expensive for college students,” she said.
As many college students are on a tight budget, Brynn’s comments point to a fault in H2Melon’s appeal to the student body. Ogunsanya still believes a student on a tight budget should choose H2Melon over other, less expensive fruit juices. “Sure, a traditional sugary juice is probably a few bucks less than a bottle of H2Melon, but you can’t even begin to compare the health benefits of H2Melon over that other stuff,” he said. Frankly, there are grave health costs of reaching for a bottle of traditional juice. Not only are you not getting the nutrients you need, but you’re also filling up on unhealthy additives and sugars.”
The appeal of H2Melon to a younger, more health-conscious demographic is undeniable. With just one sole ingredient, it stands apart from other fruit juices on the market due to its natural health benefits. The drink’s presence on campus is made even more engaging with the student body because its co-founder was once in our shoes. The company has a strong social media presence and Ogunsanya reminds students to follow H2Melon’s accounts and hashtag “H2Melon” for the chance to win free prizes. Whether one enjoys the taste of watermelon, the appeal of natural rehydration or the alumnus connection H2Melon has come to campus, so give it a try.