Mexican mango volumes could rise 3%

By Andy Nelson

March 03, 2016 | 8:26 am EST

Mexican mango volumes could be up from last year, said Manuel Michel, executive director of the Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board.

“The overall 2016 Mexican mango volumes are expected to be similar to the 2015 season, with the potential to increase by approximately 3%.”

Mangoes from the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas began arriving in the U.S. about the third week of January, Michel said.

Although that’s a week earlier than in previous years, there are also reports, he said, that overall production is running three weeks or more behind schedule because of rains during the flowering stage and colder than normal temperatures.

Barring any surprises from Mother Nature, two peaks are expected this season, Michel said.

“The first will be from about the middle of April through the first half of May. The second is expected to occur during the second half of June through the beginning of August.”

In late February mostly ataulfos, some tommy atkins and a few hadens were shipping from Chiapas and Oaxaca, Michel said. Michoacan also was shipping some fruit.

Michoacan volumes were expected to ramp up at the end of March or early April. Jalisco production was expected to peak in mid-May, Nayarit in June and Sinaloa beginning in the second week of June, with production lasting until late August or early September.

Later varieties shipping include kents, which should enter the market in May, and keitts, set for a July start, Michel said.

In 2015, tommy atkins accounted for about 37% of all Mexican mangoes, ataulfos 26%, kents 20%, hadens and keitts 7% each and all other varieties 3%, according to the board.

Importers expect another strong year of ataulfo sales, Michel said.

“The ataulfo continues to grow in popularity due to its sweet taste and smooth texture. During the Mexican season, we see a lot of ataulfo mangoes available in the market.”

Demand in late winter was moderate, Michel said, with ample supplies to meet demand. But that will change.

“For week 9, I see demand improving as supplies from Peru decrease,” Michel said Feb. 25. “For weeks 10-12, demand will likely be higher than supply. Mexico will increase supplies starting week 12 and continue increasing into week 14 or 15. Demand will decrease in weeks 13-15 due to the increased supplies.”

On the front end of the Mexican deal, sizes were peaking on 10s, followed by 9s and 12s, Michel said.

The board has a full state of promotional programs on tap to support Mexican mango sales in the U.S. in 2016, Michel said.

Programs set to launch during the Mexican season include fresh samplings at National Women’s Soccer League games, U.S. Youth Soccer games and a New York City yoga event.

The board’s retail account managers plan to work aggressively with retailers to set up promotions, especially during peak-volume times, Michel said.

In addition, board staff are developing a campaign called Share.Mango.Love, which this year will focus on how important mangoes are to Mexican cuisine and culture.

Through the campaign, images and stories will be shared with consumer and trade media in early summer, Michel said.