Fresh-cut opens marketing doors

04/09/2013 02:37:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

Fresh-cut mango offerings are booming, according to suppliers.

“Our customer base for fresh-cut continues to increase significantly,” said Isabel Freeland, vice president of Coast Citrus Distributors Inc., San Diego.

Greg Golden, partner and sales manager at Amazon Produce Network, Mullica Hill, N.J., said his company also is enjoying significant growth in fresh-cut offerings.

“We saw explosive growth over the past few years as retailers offered fresh-cut mangoes for the first time. To continue on this path, mango will need to enter consistently into the ingredients of mixed fruit cups and seasonal fruit medleys and bowls,” he said.

The National Mango Board reports fresh-cut mangoes made up 10% of mango sales in 2011, which grew to 13% in 2012, according to the Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts.

Of course, it can be difficult to measure all the mangoes that are showing up in mixed fresh-cut offerings, so the growth may be even higher.

“A good bit of the fresh-cut mango volume moves in mixed bowls or trays, such as Caribbean bowls or tropical fruit trays, but we do not include those in our data because of the difficulty in accurately measuring the mango in those packs,” she said.

Value-added packaging options are also gaining ground, according to Sandra Aguilar, marketing manager for Ciruli Bros. LLC, Nogales, Ariz.

“There is definitely more demand for value-added packs, such as smaller, retail-ready cases or clamshell packs,” she said. “We offer a few of these types and feature recipes, photos and nutritional information on them. We sell more of these packs each year.”

Mangoes are also gaining in foodservice outlets.

“In 2012, we saw 403% volume increase with chains where we helped them promote a mango dish,” McKenna said.

The board does foodservice promotions with chains that use fresh or fresh-cut mangoes and is encouraged by the increase in establishments using processed mangoes, including smoothies.

“Significantly more consumers surveyed in 2011 liked the flavor of mango than in 2007. Almost all (93%) who have eaten mango like the flavor,” she said.

Still, McKenna says there is room for growth.

“Approximately 50% of meals are eaten away from home, so there is great opportunity for mangoes in foodservice,” she said.



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