Ciruli Bros. plans to ship more mangoes, notably its Champagne product, when its Mexican deal starts up again in February.
“We’re going to increase our volume on kent and keitt mangoes, and the Champagnes will have at least a 30% increase,” said Chuck Ciruli III, chief executive officer of Nogales, Ariz.-based Ciruli Bros.
“That’s our signature item.”
The Champagne is an ataulfo mango, a yellow variety with a reputation for nonfibrous fruit, sweetness and a thin pit.
“It’s smaller than a traditional mango like a tommy (atkins) or a haden, so instead of $1.29 or $1.49, these could be 3 for $2 in retail ads,” Ciruli said.
“It’s snowballed on us. We’ve added some packinghouses. We’ve got retailers on board looking for increases of 25% to 30% so we’ve got to match that and we’re set to do so.”
The kents and keitts are larger options.
The mango deal starts off in Chiapas at Mexico’s southern tip, then gradually proceeds north up the coast from Oaxaca to Nayarit and Sinaloa. Ciruli Bros. participates in all regions.
The peak season for product coming through Nogales runs late February through September or early October.
Chiapas and Oaxaca are closer to Texas than Arizona, and shipping patterns will reflect that. More than 60% of the company’s mangoes will pass through its facility in Donna, Texas — near McAllen — Ciruli said.
“There’s a lot of interest in using south Texas as a shipping point,” he said.
“This year we’re also doing more vegetables and tomatoes through there. More people will continue to do that. It’s a freight savings.”
The company maintains a website for the variety at www.champagnemango.com. It offers recipes, nutrition facts and merchandising and display ideas.