As we transition from Brazil to the Peruvian season, “the air-shipped Kent mangoes from Peru are standing out for their excellent quality but also for their high prices,” explains Jean Philippe, commercial director at Méchinaud.
Regarding the balance between supply and demand, “although there were some complicated periods on the market during the season transfer, we still had enough mangoes.”
Mango by air vs. Mango by boat: in terms of quality, there is no comparison
“On the market in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), the air-shipped mango is being sold at around 6.20 to 6.50 euros/kg [3.20 to 3.40 USD/lb],” a more substantial price than for the mango shipped by boat but, according to Jean Philippe, this higher price reflects the exceptional quality of the product. “We sometimes speak of “detached boat mangoes” or “pre-ripe mangoes”, but it is more of a marketing argument than anything else. Because if we want a quality mango, it has to be a mango picked at maturity, so it must be air-shipped. It is not very sustainable indeed, but if we speak strictly in the organoleptic sense, the mango by boat, even pre-ripe or detached, simply cannot compete. They can be a little softer but they will not have a lot of taste.” The mango by boat is not a specialty at Méchinaud.
Kent: France's favorite mango
“The variety widely acclaimed by the French in supermarkets, at smaller retailers and on open-air markets is undoubtedly the Kent. We also have segmentation mangoes where we are looking for hyperspecialization; the green mango for instance is a product full of flavour, very powerful and even more expensive than the Kent variety, with prices around 10 euros per kilo [5.20 USD/lb]. Other varieties of small mangoes, like the Thai, also have a very powerful taste but they are a highly luxurious product,” explains Jean Philippe.
The assets of the Kent have conquered the hearts of the French. A mango with a very interesting weight/flesh ratio and a rather flat pit. A fruit which is not fibrous, thus allowing us to enjoy the flesh from the skin to the pit, contrary to the Keitt variety for example - inexpensive and shipped by boats - which is more fibrous. Keitt mangoes are therefore more difficult to cut and in the end, a lot of flesh is wasted. Besides this advantage, the Kent variety also offer very developed tastes, a very good texture and an excellent sweet/sour balance.
Jean Philippe shares his observation concerning the evolution of the demand. “As I can see on my markets, including in the supermarkets, I think that there is a real development in the demand for mangoes by plane, which used to be a product for high-end specialists or the catering industry. In recent years, I have observed quality air-shipped mangoes in the supermarkets, especially during the holiday season.”
So, as Jean Philippe puts it: “the recommendations for meat and mangoes are the same: consume less but choose for quality!”
For more information:
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Phone: +33 (0)2 40 48 97 16