The National Mango Board (NMB) has honored Wegmans as the 2019 Mango Retailer of the Year.
The award winner was announced during the NMB’s Annual Mango Industry Reception on October 18, 2019 during PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in Anaheim, CA.
Present at the ceremony was award recipient Mary Zink, produce category merchant at Wegmans. There were also members of the Wegmans produce team and mango industry leaders.
The Mango Retailer of the Year award identifies retailers that go above and beyond to offer strong consistent support to the mango industry and deliver outstanding mango promotion results.
Wegmans Food Market Inc. was selected from over 100 retailers that partner with the NMB across the U.S.
The NMB said this New York-based retailer has excelled in promoting and highlighting both whole and fresh-cut mangos. It does this via integrated retail marketing, including Knowledge Based Selling (KBS), expanded displays, demos, recipes and social media.
Wegmans has promoted mangos year-round, using KBS and with an emphasis on unique and creative in-store displays.
They highlight fresh-cut mango side-by-side with fresh whole mangos, a tactic that has proven extremely successful in driving sales.
This year, promotions during the first half of the year saw incredible results and Wegmans surpassed its sales goal for mangos by 20%.
Its winning KBS strategy prepares team members with in-depth knowledge about mangos, including recipes, pairings, equipment needed for demonstration stations, how to serve and more. This empowers the Wegmans’ team to be champions of the super fun superfruit and master storytellers when speaking to customers.
Mango ripening key for Wegmans
Another major factor influencing the growth of mango for Wegmans was the introduction of product ripening. In 2017, Wegmans worked together with the NMB to establish an in-house mango ripening program. This has been a resounding success for Wegmans.
The company ripens mangos at all their warehouses and cuts all fresh-cut mango in-house using ripe product. It highlights this “ripe and ready” advantage on signage and displays in-store.
Combining quality ripe mangos with an empowered sales team has proven to be key in driving repeat purchases.
Pictured above left to right: Manuel Michel, executive director of the NMB; Mary Zink, produce category merchant at Wegmans; Michael Warren, chairman of the NMB and Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.
“We continue to see incredible growth in total mango sales. It takes an entire village, from our buyers to our ripeners to make sure that the fruit is at the perfect ripeness for our customers to purchase,” stated Mary Zink, produce category merchant at Wegmans.
“It’s our store teams that drive sales, through displays, Knowledge Based Service, commitment and passion.”
“Wegmans truly embodies passion and enthusiasm when selling and promoting mangos.” stated Valda Coryat, director of marketing at the NMB. “Their commitment to delivering high quality mangos year-round coupled with strong, knowledge-based sales and marketing has delivered excellent results.
"By showcasing the flavor and versatility of mangos all year long, retailers such as Wegmans play a crucial role in the mango industry and support our mission to move mangos from exotic to a daily necessity in the U.S.
"We look forward to our continued work with Mary and the Wegmans team, as well as all our retail partners in helping them to drive mango awareness and consumption year-round.”