Mangoes finding their way into more U.S. foodservice menus, NMB study finds
A recent study from the National Mango Board (NMB) shows the fruit is in the "proliferation stage" of the foodservice menu adoption cycle, making it a "powerful ingredient for menu innovation".
Using a "Mango MenuTrends Report" from Datassential, the NMB has assessed the penetration and incidence of mangoes in menus across 7,000 national, regional, and independent chains.
The findings? Mangoes are now the ninth most common fruit on appetizer, entrée and side menus, with around one in six foodservice operations in the United States including the fruit on their menus.
The most rapid growth (+30%) has been in appetizers, while the most prominent menu sections for the fruit are on both alcoholic and non-alcoholic menus. Only in dessert menus did mangoes' menu penetration decline, but just slightly by 1%.
The most common types of cuisines associated with mango on menus in terms of incidence were American (20%), Mexican (17%), Indian (14%), Chinese (7%), Sandwich (4%) and Japanese (4%). Results also show that mango is alsonoticeably versatile in savory menu items, as almost half of menu items with mango are featured on mixed ethnicity dishes.
In terms of where the fruit is appearing on menus, the fastest growth since 2005 has been in midscale and quick service restaurants (both at rates of 100%), followed by casual dining (+85). Overall, mangos have increased penetration across all regions (+34.8%), with a slightly higher increase (+38.9%) in the Western U.S.
In a release, the NMB said the study results provided valuable insights for identifying and capitalizing on mango trends, with the fruit able to complement both savory and sweet dishes, often paired with neutral proteins like chicken and fish, and with "ethnic" or spicy ingredients.
As one of the most popular fruits in the world, operators now recognize its potential for enhancing ethnic street foods, condiments, snacks, breakfast, plant-based and healthy menus, among others.
"As we continue to see mango growth in foodservice, it’s important to keep in mind these trends while also challenging the standardized mango usages," said NMB director of marketing Valda Coryat.
"We want to excel past the understood status quo of mangos, and promote new mango usage ideas among foodservice professionals. Understanding and analyzing this data not only helps us understand where we are, but also gives us insight on how to better move forward in the foodservice arena."