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WISHFUL THINKING ???: NMB Hopes Ripened mangoes could create growth











By Melissa Shipman


May 04, 2015 | 3:44 pm EDT










Ken Nabal, president of Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Kingston Fresh, thinks the Ripe and Ready program will help grow mango sales.

“Europe has been doing a ripening program for many years and it’s been very successful in growing mango sales. If consumers get good fruit, they come back and keep buying,” Nabal said.




Nabal, a board member of the National Mango Board, said the program in place is still relatively new.



“We’ve only scratched the surface with potential for this. The only difference in doing it in the U.S. is that fruit has to be hot water treated here, which puts a lot of stress on it, but we’re trying to explore all our options for the industry,” Nabal said.




Some options include having fruit ripened before or during transit.



“We’re already talking to some growers in Peru and Guatemala about getting fruit here that is ready to eat so it doesn’t have to be ripened once it arrives,” Nabal said.




The board will continue to promote its newly developed Mango Handling and Ripening Protocol, detailing the best practices for handling, merchandising, and ripening mangoes to help retailers move more mangoes. 


Rachel Munoz, marketing director for the Orlando, Fla.-based board, said that through research, the group has found consumers to be more focused on immediate consumption.

“They want to buy something and eat it within a day or two,” she said, comparing interest in ripened mangoes to ripened avocados.




Still, only a small percentage of the mangoes sold in the U.S. are ripened.


“This can depend on whether the retailer is ripening in store or at their distribution centers, but overall, we estimate that roughly 5% of retailers in the U.S. have ripening programs in place,”  Munoz said.





The board has a specialist to provide support to retailers who want to offer ripened mangoes and said it’s easier to do the task at the retail level than at the distributor level.




“We’re working with retailers who have ripening rooms to determine the best practices. Basically, if you have a banana room, you can ripen mangoes. You want to have the longest lifespan you can, so we want to wait until the very end to ripen it,” Munoz said.




Education for consumers is also important. They need to know if the mango they are buying is ripened or not.

“We have stickers available that say ‘ripe and ready to eat’ as well as a lot of material retailers can use to support a ripening program,” Munoz said.



Greg Golden, partner and sales manager for Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network, said he hasn’t seen an increase in customers who are working with ripened mangoes.

“We do recondition mangoes for those that request it. So far, we haven’t seen a big change in that business. The ones that have already done it still want it, but there isn’t a large shift in that direction,” Golden said.






http://www.thepacker.com/news/ripened-mangoes-could-create-growth





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Alphonso (mango)
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