( Tom Burfield )

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Tree-ripened mangoes and fresh-cut jackfruit are a couple of the hot produce trends to watch for in the coming months.

That’s according to Robert Schueller, director of public relations for Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce Inc., which markets Melissa’s specialty produce.
Schueller talked with about 30 media members and bloggers during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit on Oct. 19.

Mangoes are the world’s most popular fruit, he said, yet they rank No. 13 in the U.S.

“What does the rest of the world know that we don’t?” he asked.

He suggested looking for the new preconditioned Saperana variety that should be starting up in late November and be available year-round.

Weighing in at up to 100 pounds, jackfruit is the largest fruit there is, Schueller said, but Melissa’s will offer a fresh-cut pack starting in December.

Passion fruit, available from September to December and from February to June, is another popular item, but the key is knowing when it’s ripe, he said.

“You want them to really wrinkle up,” Schueller said.

He touted a couple of other new items from Melissa’s, including Coco Thumb coconuts from Thailand that are easy to open. They’re packaged with a straw for the coconut water.

And Melissa’s has added two new flavors to its line of eight Clean Snax items – chile lime and peanut butter.

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