Mango consumption in the US has substantially increased in recent decades. Part of the reason for this is an increase in availability as well as better promotional efforts. Educating consumers is also key and this is what the National Mango Board (NMB) says it has done in the 13 and a half years since its inception.
"US mango per capita consumption has increased steadily since 2005 from 1.88 pounds/person, to 3.42 pounds/person in 2017, and represents a growth of 82 percent," said Manuel Michel of the National Mango Board. "Going back twelve to fifteen years, there are three fundamental developments from the supply side that are driving this growth: more availability, better quality, and more value-added options for consumers."
More options for retailers and consumers
Having mangos available year-round has driven consumption during the 'off-peak' periods, according to the NMB. They also noted that there are more varieties available, which gives retailers more options, and consumers more choice. "As consumers become familiar with the diversity that mangoes have to offer, retailers have requested more options, and producers have responded with more varieties from more regions," Michel explained. "It’s no longer one or two varieties during the summer, but instead multiple varieties are available from more producing regions."
The handling and marketing of mangoes has been an important factor in bringing those consumer options to reality. On the handling side, going beyond the fresh market into value-added products as well as ready-to-eat prepared fruit has helped consumption increase. Michel says having these facets of the market covered leads to better exposure and greater familiarity.
"The mango industry has continued improving its production, handling, transportation, and overall supply-chain practices, which results in the delivery of more consistent and higher-quality mangoes to consumers," he observed. "Finally, consumers now have more options to enjoy mango than before. The introduction of value-added options such as ripe-and-ready-to-eat, along with the expansion of fresh-cut and frozen, have all contributed to making it more convenient for consumers to enjoy mango."
Once you have the product, you also need to let people know about it which is why marketing is a vital next step in the process. "Even if you have the best product in the world, or in this case the best fruit, consumers will only purchase if they are familiar with it and if it is available," Michel noted. "This is why marketing is so important for any commodity. In the case of mango, the NMB has been educating and inspiring consumers to eat mango since 2005, while also keeping the fruit top of mind. These marketing and research investments gradually make a difference over time and we are starting to see many of these efforts coming to fruition."
Mango Jicama salad
Room to grow
Not content with keeping mango popularity where it is now, the National Mango Board intends to continue promoting the tropical fruit and presenting more varieties to the US consumer. "The NMB sees tremendous opportunity in the continued growth of mango consumption in the US," Michel said. "Although mango ranks as the most consumed fruit in many parts of the world, here in the US it currently ranks as the 13th most consumed fruit, based on per capita consumption. The NMB’s vision is for mango to move from being an exotic fruit to a daily necessity in every US household. As the mango industry continues to expand the varieties available to consumers and offer consistent quality, demand is also likely to continue expanding."
National Mango Board's Valda Coryat noted that the healthy food trend is an avenue that mangos can participate in, thereby bringing the attraction of the fruit into another dimension. "As US consumer demographics continue to evolve, the base of mango consumers will expand and the versatility of mangoes will help satisfy those consumers’ appetites for global cuisine," Coryat explained. "As more Americans focus on improved health, mangoes can also play a role by contributing to health without sacrificing flavor."
Funding of the Board
The National Mango Board, like almost any other such entity, is funded by industry members from a portion of revenue. Currently, the Board shared that this figure sits at three quarters of a cent per pound, or $0.0075/lb. In 2017, the NMB raised $8,329,903. To the Board, it's an investment into the mango industry's growth now and into the future.
"The NMB is funded entirely by the mango industry," Michel stated. "In recent years, $6 million to $8.3 million have been generated annually through the production of whole, fresh mango. All assessment funds collected are invested back into the mango industry. These funds support the NMB programs, which include marketing, communications, research, industry relations, as well as board meetings, USDA and Customs fees, overhead, and administrative expenses."
For more information:
National Mango Board
Tel: +1 (407) 629-7318