(July 8, 10:15 a.m.) The Orlando-based National Mango Board has expanded its foodservice outreach.

The organization started the year by sponsoring Produce First! in January, an event targeted at chefs to get them to plan meals around produce.

It also is a sponsor at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice show in late July and plans to have celebrity chefs Cat Cora and Tom Coliccihio use mangoes in their demonstration on July 27, in addition to a presentation at the Fresh Produce Academy on July 25 by marketing specialist Megan McKenna.

Larger foodservice budget

Wendy McManus, National Mango Board marketing director, said the organization has increased its foodservice outreach budget this year. With that money, it retained MMM Marketing, an agency that specializes in the foodservice industry.

“The National Mango Board is focusing on foodservice now because mangoes are a very trendy flavor and foodservice is a perfect venue for a consumer to try a mango and eventually buy mangoes at the store,” she said.

As part of its media outreach, the board conducted meetings with members of the International Foodservice Editorial Council, meeting with more than 20 editors to give more ideas for mango-related stories in foodservice-specific publications.

The board also is conducing mango yield tests on two varieties and is creating cutting illustrations to obtain maximum yield in the kitchen to help build the foundation for successful usage in foodservice, McManus said.

After last year’s successful program with national chain P.F. Chang’s, the board also plans to have chef Allen Susser lead a one-day mango seminar with another national chain. The specific chain has not yet been announced.

Mango board reaches out to chefs
“The National Mango Board is focusing on foodservice now because mangoes are a very trendy flavor and foodservice is a perfect venue for a consumer to try a mango and eventually buy mangoes at the store,” says Wendy McManus, National Mango Board marketing director.