Mango shippers expect ample supplies for the week leading up to Cinco de Mayo.
“In the weeks leading up to the holiday, we will be packing fruit from three different growing regions: Michoacán, Chiapas and Nayarit,” said Sandra Aguilar, marketing and strategic planning for Rio Rico, Ariz.-based Ciruli Bros.
“Based on current information, we expect very promotable volume for both yellow mangoes, which we market as Champagne mangoes, and red mangoes, during that time frame.”
Jessie Capote, principal and executive vice president of Miami-based J&C Tropicals, said his company projects plenty of conventional mangoes from Mexico and Guatemala and plenty of specialty mangoes from Haiti and the Dominican Republic for the week leading up to the holiday.
Matt Matalucci, director of sales for Vineland, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network, had a similar expectation.
“Cinco de Mayo always seems to be the perfect time to promote — it aligns with great supply and perfect holiday to promote,” Matalucci said. “Very good volume out of both Guatemala and Mexico (is expected) with preferable retail sizes — 9/10/12 count.”
Matalucci described Cinco de Mayo as a huge holiday for mangoes.
“This is probably the biggest type of mango promotion holiday of the year,” he said.
Michael Warren, president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce, also named Cinco de Mayo a major promotion period for the fruit.
“Volumes are good, the weather is good, and mangoes are on people’s mind in the social media channels,” he said.
Aguilar noted the holiday is an occasion across the U.S. now.
“The (Cinco de Mayo) holiday provides a great opportunity to promote Mexican food items, and mangoes are abundant, great-tasting and wholesome,” Aguilar said.
“The holiday has been embraced by the mainstream population, so you see mango ads nationwide, not just in Hispanic markets.”
Several suppliers noted red fruit may trend smaller during the weeks leading up to the holiday.
“Quality will be outstanding since weather has been favorable,” Warren said. “Fruit size for red mango will be heavy to smaller sizes, 10 and 12 (count), with supplies of larger available in lower percentages but some volume. The honey mango will be available in all sizes.”
Aguilar gave a similar projection.
“We expect round mangoes to be running on the smaller size with a peak in 10-12 counts,” she said. “Conversely, yellows should be peaking between 16-18 counts. The early deal yields slightly smaller round fruit than the later deals in Mexico.
“As round fruit transitions to Nayarit and Sinaloa, sizing will get bigger, and even bigger as fruit comes in from northern Sinaloa,” she said.
Capote noted it is still a bit early to know for sure how the crop will fare but said that quality should be good.
“Sizing may trend towards smaller counts (10s and 12s), but it’s a little early to know for sure as well,” he said.
The National Mango Board has point-of-sale material available for retailers around mango ripeness, how to cut mangoes, mango varieties and more.
Cross-merchandising is another opportunity for the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
“Mangoes can be cross-promoted with seafood (mango chutney) as well as with other tropical fruits like dragon fruit to create fruit salads,” Capote said.
Warren suggested some additional combinations.
“For Cinco de Mayo, definitely avocado, jalapeño and salsa complements mango,” Warren said. “Also citrus and mangoes works great for true margarita aficionados.”
Aguilar suggested retailers promote multiple varieties or different sizes at varied price points.