For many, summer means mango season. Although mangos are available year-round, the National Mango Board (NMB) noted there are more varieties on offer during the summer months, each with a different flavor profile. With that in mind, the NMB shared some of the different promotional efforts it utilizes to assist retailers during the busy summer months.
One of the aspects the NMB wished to mention is that mangos are becoming more mainstream, and it therefore encourages retailers to position mangos alongside summer stone fruit.
"The mango is mainstreaming within the produce section," observed Tammy Wiard of the National Mango Board. "It is no longer thought of as a “tropical or exotic” fruit. Mangos are number 13 in volume velocity within the produce section and the NMB encourages our retail partners to merchandise mangos with summer seasonal fruit, particularly stone fruit. Our research shows that when displayed with the seasonal stone fruit, mangos have a 45 percent lift in sales. Think of mango as the ultimate stone fruit!"
With placement at retail in mind, Wiard added that the Board's annual bin program has returned for summer. "We know that the use of bins in-store, provides a more permanent location for mangos so it’s easier for the consumer to consistently find the mangos they love," she said. "By placing the bins upfront in the produce section, the produce team can create excitement and encourages impulse buys, creating incremental sales. With the introduction of the bins’ new design, the response has been amazing."
The promotion of mangos extends beyond the store and into consumers' kitchens. Therefore, the NMB also pointed out the number of recipes they have on their website, social media channels and POS materials, and even suggested a few other possibilities where retailers can take advantage of summer flavors.
"The outdoor summer months provide an opportunity to take advantage of the mango’s versatility of providing a sweet or savory flavor profile to dishes, particularly as a part of the grilling season," Wiard shared. "Summer is about convenience and getting out of the kitchen, so let’s not forget about fresh cut. Fresh cut mangos are becoming increasingly popular as a way to enjoy the delicious flavor and nutrition of the mango, without the work. In 2017, there was a 12 percent growth YOY. Fresh cut mangos are a healthy, quick and convenient snack and you can mix them in with dips or salsas and easily create a dish that will impress!"
"For example, dicing fresh mangos and mixing them into pre-made guacamole gives you a simple yet sophisticated appetizer to take to any fun summer party," she continued. "The retailer can display the pre-made guacamole and fresh cut mango side by side as a meal solution."
Offering ripened mangos increases sales
When it comes to ripened mangos, the NMB strongly encourages retailers to offer these in store. The Board shows statistics demonstrating that offering ripened mangos increases sales. It refers to avocados, which consumption has doubled from 2009 to 2019, a period during which ripening became standard practice.
"Retailers that offer ripened mangos can expect increased volume movement and satisfied customers making consistent repeat purchases," Wiard said. "Ripe and ready to eat mangos provide a competitive advantage over retailers that do not consistently offer this type of product for their consumer. The increased interest in and adoption of ripening programs for mangos has skyrocketed in the last two years."
One of the measures that the NMB uses to show how widespread ripening has become is by the amount of third party ripening companies that have appeared, as Wiard explained. "Some retailers are relying on their suppliers to provide ripened fruit. As retailers’ ripening rooms reach capacity, third party ripening options are becoming part of the norm and suppliers who offer ripening services can differentiate themselves and create more loyalty in their retail relationships."
One of the reasons for increased interest in ripened mangos is because North American consumers generally want to eat what they purchase as soon as possible. As part of offering ripened mangos, the NMB is additionally encouraging retailers to highlight to the consumer that they stock ripened mangos.
"The fruit is meant to be sold, not displayed," Wiard stated. "For a retailer with a ripening program, every merchandising decision and practice should facilitate brisk sales and rotation of the fruit so that shrink does not present a challenge. Many retailers implement the “just in time” inventory system. Display strategies should change to accommodate riper fruit that’s more tender and prone to bruising. Stores that take deliveries of mangos once a week may need to look at deliveries twice a week."
She concluded, "Education is critical to the success of delivering a ripe mango to the consumer. The National Mango Board provides an online training guide for the ripening and management of mangos with customized programs for the warehouse team, the store team and corporate management."