Promising future for U.S. mango consumption
Both mango supply and demand in the U.S. have gone up steadily over the years and are set to continue to do so as the world’s most consumed fruit becomes increasingly popular in the market.
Industry experts from the National Mango Board (NMB) and Crespo Organic Mangoes told FreshFruitPortal.com about how U.S. mango consumption has developed over the years, what the current market conditions are and what the future might look like.
The first important factor to consider is education. Mangoes were not commercialized until the 1980s and until the 2000s, few U.S. citizens even knew what mangoes were. More recently, efforts have been made to educate consumers about their nutritional benefits and their versatility.
“Americans are just learning about them,” Crespo Organic Mangoes’ Nissa Pierson pointed out.
She said that “the more folks in our industry that educate consumers on the commodity, the better,” while emphasizing the importance of expanding knowledge by supporting and offering mango education to wholesalers, retailers and consumers.
Since 2005, the National Mango Board has played a vital role in educating consumers and promoting mango consumption through marketing, communications, research, and industry extension efforts.
“The increase in mango consumption has truly been an industry wide effort of on-going improvements that begin with the mango growers, continue through the supply chain, and culminates with satisfied consumers,” explained Manuel Michel, the NMB’s Executive Director.
Another important reason for mangoes’ surging popularity is rising volumes. In some production areas, additional orchards have been planted and come into production, while in other areas, improvements in production efficiency have generated higher yields per hectare, Michel described.
Currently, mango volumes are up on last year. ‘The volume shipped since January is about 10 percent higher […] and the NMB expects this trend to continue through the end of the year,” indicated NMB Research Manager Rolff Vladimir Mitton.
Furthermore, according to USDA figures, organic mango import volume has increased by 184 percent, from 4.9 million boxes in 2016 to 13.9 million boxes in 2021. However, during the first half of 2022 (January to June), it is reported that organic mango imports have dropped by 56% compared to the same time last year.
Despite some challenges with supply consistency this year, Crespo Organic Mangoes’ fully integrated supply chain allowed for good quality and new varieties to be introduced into the market.
“This season more than any other before we saw more mass-market retailers contracting for organic mangoes,” commented Pierson.
With regards to the outlook for U.S. mango consumption, increasing volumes as well as strong marketing strategies and campaigns will likely continue to incite growth.
On one hand, Michel stated: “It is expected that U.S. mango consumption will continue growing steadily for the foreseeable future,” adding that “the mango industry has the desire and capacity to continue increasing volumes, at the same time that marketing strategies continue evolving and campaigns are becoming more effective in generating awareness.”
On the other hand, Pierson agreed that with regards to organic mangoes, “growth will continue at a large and fast rate”, but warned that the climate will make “size and varietal details much harder to predict in each region ahead of time.” As a result, she believes that “planning, conservative commitments and higher pricing seem to be what lies ahead.”