The fall promotion season may be approaching rapidly, but mango industry growers, shippers and marketing agents are quick to point out their crop is anything but seasonal.
“We promote literally 12 months a year, so we don’t have what would be called a ‘fall promotion.’ We’re always doing in-store demos and retail promotions all year-long,” said William Watson, executive director of the National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla.
He said the board also is active in promoting mangoes with foodservice distributors.
“We tend to get more activity in the summer months simply because so much of the fruit comes Mexico and volumes are much higher,” Watson said.
“We’ve got some promotions going on now that probably will roll off into the fall.”
Seasons do bring a shift for growing regions, though, and fall does stand out in its own way, Watson said.
“It’s interesting — if we want to define it, starting in September, out in the West, they’re still bringing in mostly green varieties from northern Mexico and California,” he said.
“There’s a couple of varieties, some of them get pretty big, so that market is a little bit different in September than the rest of the country, which is usually getting some tommy atkins fruit from Brazil, some red fruit that’s a little bit more firm.”
That will go on until around mid-October, Watson said.
“Then, you’ll start to see some Ecuadorian fruit come in,” he said.
“It’s the same variety — nice and red. Then, the Ecuadorian fruit will also start coming into California and the rest of the country because that stuff in northern Sinaloa and California will pretty much have been done in October. Ecuador will be feeding us mangoes in October and November and even into December, and then we’ll pick up some fruit from Peru. That will go into March, where we’ll start the whole Mexican deal again.”
Mangoes are a year-round deal for Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce Inc., said Michael Warren, president.
“We’ll be starting Brazil in a few weeks and then from there, we’ll start complementing that with Ecuador, but it’s year-round, and the locations change every couple of months,” he said.
To say Mullica Hill, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network is heavily invested in mangoes is to understate the situation, said Greg Golden, partner and sales manager.
“That’s what we do here,” he said.
“The Mexican mango season seems to be wrapping up. Volumes are dropping, availability is already getting tight, but we’re coming strong from Brazil. It looks like it’s going to be a nice, smooth transition. We’ll have good acceptance in the market.”
Demand for the fruit is excellent in the fall, Golden said.
“Our buyers are interested,” he said. “Brazil has a pretty quick ramp-up on the volume.”
Early arrivals from Brazil will be nearly all the ataulfo, or yellow, variety, Golden said.
“Those are gaining popularity. There’s been a supply gap,” he said.
“Ataulfos out of Mexico pretty much dried up several weeks ago. As soon as they come in, I think they’ll be snapped up pretty quick.”
The mango market has been steady year-round, and that should continue into the fall, said Gary Clevenger, managing member and co-founder of Freska Produce International LLC, Oxnard, Calif.
“We’ve got pretty good consistent pull with our customer base,” he said.
“We’re 365 days of the year, so we have a good, consistent customer base. Other shippers are seasonal. Our customer base is year-round.”
There was more fruit than normal from Mexico at the end of the summer, said Larry Nienkerk, partner and general manager of Splendid Products LLC, Burlingame, Calif.
“There was more volume that came out of the southern area of Sinaloa than was expected and is still hanging around the marketplace, where normally we’d have only the northern Sinaloa fruit right now,” he said in mid-August.