The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting an amendment referendum among eligible first handlers and importers of mangos in the U.S., to determine the inclusion of frozen mango in the National Mango Board (NMB) programs. First handlers and importers who handled 500,000 pounds or more of fresh whole mango during the 2017 calendar year are eligible to vote. Also eligible to vote, importers who handled 200,000 pounds or more of frozen mango during the 2017 calendar year. Everyone who is eligible to vote will receive a ballot and voting instructions directly from USDA. Voting will take place March 25 to April 12, 2019.
Since the NMB’s creation in 2005 it states its number one priority has been to increase the consumption of fresh mangos in the U.S., while also making significant and positive impacts in the mango industry. From 2005 to 2017, the Free on Board (FOB) value of mango imports increased 120 percent, from $262 million in 2005 to $577 million in 2018, it said. The Board also noted that mango consumption is on the rise reaching 3.16 pounds per person in 2018. Consumer acceptance also continues to grow, according to a recent Attitudes and Usage study, percentage of mango purchasers increased from 60 percent in 2013 to 67 percent in 2017. Likewise, the percentage of consumers who have never purchased a mango fell from 40 percent to 33 percent.
Mango usage continues to grow in all restaurant segments and types, it added. Mangos are the 9th most commonly menued fruit, with mango menu penetration increasing 92 percent since 2005, from 19.4 percent to 37.2 percent in 2018 – with projections showing continued growth reaching 40 percent by 2022. Projected mango growth in menus across all segments suggests this fruit’s adaptability and versatility across multiple menu types.
“Mango is poised to become a top-consumed fruit in the U.S.,” stated Manuel Michel, Executive Director at the NMB. “Because of its amazing flavor and versatility, we see huge potential for both fresh and frozen mango consumption to continue increasing with the support of marketing campaigns. Furthermore, we must continue to work with key decision-makers in the retail and foodservice industries, while also expanding mango marketing efforts to consumers. Adding frozen mango to our order will give us the ability to promote and provide turnkey solutions for foodservice operators and retailers alike, which will help strengthen and grow the mango market.”