The National Mango Board’s foodservice efforts seem to be paying off.

The Orlando, Fla.-based board has participated in numerous sponsorships and partnerships over the past year, and has seen the number of menu items using mangoes increase by more than 20% since 2007, according to a news release.

National Mango Board generates interest around foodservice

Courtesy National Mango Board

The Thai shrimp and California avocado salad was offered at 2,000 Sodexo locations throughout the summer.

The board’s most recent sponsorship was at California’s Napa Valley at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The board was a sponsor of the Worlds of Flavor conference Nov. 12-14. This year’s theme was world street food and world comfort food.

In October, the board participated in the International Foodservice Editorial Council Annual Conference in San Diego, and Megan McKenna, the National Mango Board’s marketing manager, was elected to the council’s board.

Over the summer, Sodexo and the mango board partnered for a summer promotion, which added six mango dishes to 2,000 of Sodexo’s customer’s locations. Menu items included a tropical fruit salad cup, mango chicken chop salad, mango and avocado chicken ciabatta, Thai shrimp and California avocado salad, grilled fish tacos and mango shrimp salad croissant. The dishes were accompanied by point-of-purchase materials and nutritional information.

Also over the summer, the board sponsored The Flavor Experience, a conference for operators and suppliers Aug. 3-6 in San Diego. The conference allowed the mango board to reach attendees with a message about how to add fresh mangoes to their menus, and the guests were served eight mango dishes over the three-day event, according to the release.

As of mid-November, the foodservice outreach had generated 3.2 million impressions in 2009, according to the release.

“The NMB’s foodservice program works on many different levels, including media outreach, event sponsorship and menu development in order to maximize exposure for mangoes on a limited budget,” McManus said in the release. “The foodservice industry is the gatekeeper for what many consumers add to their shopping lists each week, so forming these connections in foodservice can have a major impact on the mango industry.”