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More non-purchasers are buying but some education still needed

Mexican mango projection volume up from this time last year

Mangos are on the rise in both production and consumption, with consumer attitudes towards the fruit increasing, including newly converted buyers. Currently the Peruvian season is peaking and will be winding down over the next six weeks. In Mexico, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Michoacán have started their export season and will continue ramping up in the next few months.

Mexican projection higher than last year
As of now Mexican mango is looking at a projection of 29 million boxes up to week 20, says Angela Serna of the National Mango Board. Compared to the same week last year, the volume shipped was 27 million boxes, indicating an estimated five per cent increase for this year. Last year saw an increase in Mexico’s volume toward the end of the season with a total of 79 million boxes. In comparison, the 2016 season produced 73 million. Serna says this increase in production came from the North Sinaloa area, a fruit fly-free zone. 

Producing countries in transition
As far as other producing countries the Peruvian season is currently peaking and will go until the last week of March, Nicaragua began just last week and will extend to the last week of April, and Guatemala begins within the next two weeks.

Research and development
The NMB plans on carrying on with projects carried over from last year plus taking on some new ones for 2018. For 2018, the board will be investing in new areas of research to explore the benefits of mango intake on skin health and cognitive function and gut health. Last year the NMB approved to conduct a supply chain monitoring and evaluation project for fresh-cut mangos, from the importers warehouse to the retail grocery store in the US that concluded in 2017. The result, a Best Management Fresh-Cut Practices, is in the final review stages, which Serna says will be distributed soon. “This year we’re partnering with Postharvest Quality Consultant LLC to connect with the US fresh-cut mango processors and handlers with the final goal of creating an alliance and increasing consumption of fresh-cut mangos.” Mango ripening is becoming the new normal with 11 retailers and nearly 7,000 stores in the US receiving ripened mangos. 

More new customers but more education on selection needed
On the retail floor level, more mangos are getting picked up; those who’d never bought mango before fell from 40 per cent to 33 per cent. “This is a positive sign that mangos are increasing in popularity with fewer consumers unaware of mangos or rejecting the purchase of a mango. However, reasons for purchasing or not purchasing a mango have remained largely consistent,” she says. There’s still somewhat of an intimidation factor: 78 percent of non-purchasers won’t buy one because they don’t know how to select ripe fruit. On the foodservice side, Serna says a study last year indicated that mango is the ninth most common fruit item on a menu.

During the Southern Exposure show this year the NMB will continue to do outreach towards retail partners and showcase training and educational materials available for the industry and retailers. Serna says they’ll continue to share messaging and insights on ripe and ready to eat mangos and the program, as well as newly refreshed mango display bins for this year.

For more information:
Angela Serna
National Mango Board

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