Consumers aren’t the only mango buyers out there who need to learn more about the fruit.
Mango marketing agents say the retail sector also needs to get up to speed on the needs of their fruit.
“The thing about mangoes is you’ve got to have the fruit at the ripe-enough stage where the aroma will hit the consumer,” said Veronica Kraushaar, president of Viva Global Marketing, Nogales, Ariz.
Tropical-themed displays also work wonders at retail, as far as mango sales go, she said.
“The best way to merchandise that now is through themed promotions like ‘tropical nights’ or ‘tropical fiesta days,’” Kraushaar said. “Those are the themes that help push mangoes, especially if you co-merchandise with items like limes or tomatoes and onions to make salsa. Those opportunities give the consumer the menu ideas she’s looking for and, of course, show the mango cut.”
Let consumers see the fruit’s flesh, and they’ll be drawn in, Kraushaar added.
“If you cut it like that and show it cut, it shows how the consumer how it’s ripe and how pretty it is,” she said. “You give the customer a chance to see it cut and a chance to sample it.”
A key for selling a lot of mangoes at retail is keeping consistently high-quality fruit — and plenty of it — on hand, said Sabine Henry, sales manager for tropical fruit with Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce.
“What works is quality consistent quality and supply,” she said. “They want color and the size. The price has to be the No. 1 issue. They want to have it at a level where people will buy it. When it’s two for 99 cents, you have people buying it. With quality, no matter what price, if you don’t have the quality, you won’t sell it. It has to be good each time.”
Store demos may be the most effective tool for retailers looking to move mangoes, said Tony Godinez, present of Hidalgo, Texas-based Godinez International LLC and Freshrite Produce LLC.
But there are other strategies, as well, said Godinez, who also is a member of the National Mango Board.
“The board has been active for six years and we’re seeing upward trends in consumption,” he said. “As far as what works best at retail, I’d say the best way is making sure we have good quality on the retail shelves and colorful displays. Mangoes are eye-catching, and, when they promote them, that’s the best way to get the consumer to take them home.”
Having ready-to-eat fruit is crucial, said Chris Ciruli, partner in Rio Rico, Ariz.-based Ciruli Bros.
“Obviously, the main thing is to get ripe fruit out there that’s ready to consume right away,” he said. “We’ve done well with cutting displays and see movement.”