Mango demand strong but pineapples sluggish, says Kingston

Most Read Top Stories
Mango demand strong but pineapples sluggish, says Kingston

U.S. importer Kingston & Associates Marketing is positive about the demand potential for increased Ecuadorian mango volumes, but times are still tough for its other key tropical fruit the pineapple.

Company president Ken Nabal told overall volume for mangoes from the South American country was down on last year, but numbers would peak from now until around Dec. 10.

"In general, mango supplies here in the States have been very short, so any demand is pretty much exceeding supply, particularly for large fruit here for the past Brazilian season," he said.

"When we get into the smaller sizes here, the retailers are looking to promote. The mango sizes are dragging so they're looking for something to generate some new sales in the stores – they haven’t had an opportunity to.

"We have enough supplies coming on to get into some promotions between here and Christmas."

He added the peak sizes would be around 10-12 count.

On the issue of increased Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mango inspections, he said Kingston's business hadn't been impacted.

"The FDA has been checking mangoes. We’ve had some containers that have been put on hold but released quickly, which is a good sign," he said.

"Typically it’s a four to seven day process, depending on if a container comes in on Monday you may see it by the end of the week, but if you get it on a Thursday or Friday, it may be the following Tuesday or Wednesday.

"I’ve heard during the Brazilian season of some folks who had longer delays, but we went through the Brazilian season and didn’t have any containers put on hold. I don’t know what the rhyme or reason is for it, but luckily it’s not impacting our business."

He said the state of the U.S. pineapple market had been sluggish for the past 8-10 weeks, with oversupply from Costa Rica and only fair demand.

"In our produce business, you get concerned when folks that have been doing this for 30 or 40 years tell you that they’ve never seen here in the States when a box of mangoes would sell more than a box of pineapples.

"Hopefully things will change. We’re hearing there’s good demand from Europe and Russia with the Costa Rican pineapple crop, so hopefully that’ll keep some of the fruit from coming here in the States, and it will auto-correct."

Subscribe to our newsletter