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Who Loves Mangos Best / Why Mangos From Mexico / Mango Basics / Getting to Know Mangos / Is It Ripe? / Mexican Mangos Season / More On Handling Mangos / Mango Facts & Figures / Receiving and Handling / How Mexico Got Mangos / Merchandising Mangos / What Consumers Say / To Your Health! / Easy Ways To Enjoy Mangos / Kitchen Equivalents / Mangos From Mexico Resources

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These days, mangos are available just about year round. For great quality, there’s a supplier right at our doorstep—Mexico. Our neighbor’s advantages include diverse production, with five commercial varieties of mangos, and a long growing season from February to mid-September.

Mangos are a familiar sight in ethnic markets and, now, mainstream American customers are getting to know this fragrant and delicious fruit.

World wide, mangos are the #1 most consumed fruit. But only one in three American supermarket customers has ever tasted a mango. The popularity of this fruit is on the rise, however—in fact, consumption has doubled over the past decade. With the help of energetic promotions, mangos have the potential to move out of the “exotic” category to become a best-selling produce item.

Who Loves Mangos Best top
Most Americans would consider mangos an exotic fruit—our per capita consumption is less than two pounds a year. To the rest of the world, though, mangos are as familiar as apples are to us!

In this country, people who already know and love mangos include those of Hispanic (especially Mexican and Caribbean) and Southeast Asian (especially Indian) descent. If your customer base includes these groups,your mango sales are, most likely, already strong.

Others in the U.S. are starting to catchon, though. Two out of three have never eaten a fresh mango, but many have encountered mango-favored sorbet, smoothies and yogurt. So they’re primed for tasting the fresh fruit itself.

Why Mangos From Mexico top
Some reasons Mexico deserves its reputation as “the gold standard” for mangos:
  • Market leader—Mexico is the dominant supplier of mangos to the U.S., with 66% of market share.
  • Proximity—Mangos from our south-of-the-border neighbor move quickly from field to market, in as little as eight hours by truck from northern growing areas. This translates into ultra-fresh fruit in your stores.
  • Truly tree ripened—Because transport distances are shorter, compared to other mango-exporting countries, Mexican mangos are allowed to mature longer on trees. The payoff: extra sweetness and flavor.
  • Long season—Mexico can take care of your mango needs from February to mid-September.
  • Commitment to quality—Attention to detail begins with nurturing mangos in the orchards and ends in meticulous harvesting and processing practices. Mangos destined for the U.S. are processed separately in a facility certified by the USDA and undergo a phytochemical hot water bath.

Mango Basics top
Mangos vary in appearance and flavor:
  • Shape—can be oblong, kidney-shaped or round
  • Skin color—ranges from red to yellow to green
  • Flesh—ranges from mellow yellow to deep orange
  • Flavor—varies but always rich, tropical, fruity, unique!

Getting to Know Mangos
Mexico produces five varieties of mangos for export to the U.S. Each has distinctive qualities and their growing seasons are staggered, so the mangos just keep coming! Be sure to alert your produce staff to the differences among mango varieties. And, with the help of strong merchandising efforts, you can turn customers into mango connoisseurs.

American consumers tend to like red mangos, believing they’ll be riper and sweeter. That ain’t necessarily so—world wide, some green and yellow varieties are prized more for their flavor. One key message: Many mangos develop a yellow background color as they ripen but the predominantly green varieties do not--customers need to know they are green when ripe

Is It Ripe? top
Customers are looking for mangos that are ripe and ready to eat. The more successful you are in meeting that demand, the more mangos you’ll sell and the better pleased your customers will be. Some tips for reaching that goal:
  • Order pre-ripened or “breaking” mangos from your supplier.
  • Order firm mangos and ripen them in your own facility.
  • Train staff how to recognize ripe mangos.
  • Share mango ripening know-how with customers through signage and sampling demos.
  • Label mangos that are ready to eat.

The sniff test: Inhale the aroma of the mango near the stem end. Does it smell fragrant, fruity, appetizing? These pleasant scents are signs of ripeness. Mangos with little or no scent may simply need a little more time to ripen.
Squeeze gently: Mangos often grow softer as they ripen. Mango connoisseurs like to choose a mango with a skin that has just begun to shrivel—a sign that it is approaching maximumsweetness.
Check the color: Red mango varieties usually develop warm yellow background hues as they ripen. But others, such as yellow and most green varieties, tend to retain the same color even when ripe.

Mexican Mangos Season top

More On Handling Mangos top
Like most other fruits from tropical or subtropical climates, mangos prefer moderate temperatures.
  • Ripen mangos at room temperature. They ripen more quickly when held in a room with other ethylene-producing fruit.
  • Mangos should be held at a temperature no lower than 55°F.
  • Do not store mangos with ethylene-sensitive produce, such as lettuce.
  • Do not mist mangos.
  • Tell customers to keep firm mangos on a kitchen counter until ripe. To speed up ripening, place the mangos in a closed paper bag. Once ripe, the mangos can be refrigerated.

Mango Facts & Figures top

Pack Sizes
Most common box size
9 pounds (4 kilograms)
Mango counts
range from 7 to 26
Most common counts
red/green varieties—9 to 14
yellow—6 to 20
Typical mango sizes
6 to 40 ounces (depending on variety)

Receiving and Handling top
Common PLUs
4959 large mangos (red/green varieties)
4051 small mangos (red/green varieties)
4312 small mangos (yellow Ataulfo variety)
Typical shelf life
7 to 14 days
Holding temperature
55°F (susceptible to chilling injury)
Relative humidity

How Mexico Got Mangos top
The species name, Mangifera indica, means “an Indian plant bearing mangos.” And, indeed, mangos have been traced back at least five thousand years to Southeast Asia, including India, where they were so prized they were considered sacred.

Mango seeds first made their way to Mexico via the Philippines in the 17th century. Other varieties reached Mexico only during the 19th century, after following a circuitous route through Persia to Africa or Portugal and from there to the West Indies. Mangos thrived (and continue to thrive) in Mexico, where the moderate climate and alternation of rainy and dry seasons provide ideal growing conditions. The towering evergreen trees, with their shiny leaves and plump mangos, flourish in much of Mexico, from the Yucatan peninsula in the southeast all the way up the Pacific coast to Mazatlan.

Once picked and packed, Mexican mangos go global. Mexico is the dominant supplier not only to the U.S., where it has two-thirds of the market share, but to the world.

Merchandising Mangos top
Because many consumers have never even tried a mango, this is a product that deserves to be promoted aggressively. Your efforts will be richly rewarded when customers taste this ambrosial fruit and become lifelong mango lovers.

Have a demonstrator show the method of cutting a mango and pass on tips about storage and ripening. Provide toothpicks for tasting the cubes, and pass out recipes calling for mangos.
Dramatic Displays
Mound fragrant ripe mangos in large displays. Consider advertising and group them with other tropical fruits, perhaps as a Cinco de Mayo special, or with fruits such as melons and peaches.
Creative Pricing
Introduce a two-variety program by, for instance, merchandising large mangos at a profitable price while promoting smaller mangos with multiple pricing (e.g., three for a dollar). Be careful not to price the mangos too low; research shows that customers question the quality of the produce when prices are slashed drastically.
Consumer Information
On shelf labels or signs, give brief descriptions of each mango variety on display, along with useful tips such as “ripe when green” for the Kent and Keitt varieties.

What Consumers Say top
Focus groups across the country—sponsored by EMEX (the group representing the packers and shippers of mangos from Mexico)—revealed useful insights that can help you sell more mangos:
  • Consumers don’t know much about mangos. They’d like retailers to provide point-of-sale information on varieties, selection, ripening, cutting, preparation and nutrition.
  • Sampling is the most persuasive technique for encouraging purchase.
  • Most consumers do not know that some mango varieties stay green even when ripe.
  • Because mangos tend to be an impulse buy, they should be displayed in an appealing way.
  • Consumers would like the option of buying ripe mangos identified with “ready to eat” stickers.
To Your Health! top
Mangos are an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A. They also provide potassium,a nutrient in which many people are deficient, and fiber. A serving consisting of half a medium-sized mango contains about 70 calories.

Easy Ways To Enjoy Mangos top

On the Sweet Side

  • Mix mango cubes with lime juice and a little honey or sugar. Eat as is or spoon over vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet.
  • Make a quick and nutritious Mexican-style liquado by whirling peeled, sliced mango in a blender with milk, ice and sugar.
  • Sprinkle ripe yet still firm unpeeled mango cheeks with brown sugar. Broil until warm. Score. Serve topped with toasted coconut or with vanilla ice cream.

Savor Mango Ideas

  • Add diced mango to a chopped salad along with cooked baby shrimp, red bell pepper and avocado. Toss with a citrus vinaigrette.
  • Sprinkle mango slices with lime juice and chili powder, as the Mexicans do, or with salt, as is common in Puerto Rico.
  • Combine chopped mango, onion, jalapeño, lime juice and salt to make a quick all-purpose salsa; serve with grilled fish or chicken, or chips.

Kitchen Equivalents top
1 medium-sized Mexican mango (1 pound), peeled and pitted:
about 11/2 cups sliced or diced about 1 cup puréed

Mangos From Mexico Resources top
The following materials for merchandising mangos are available:
  • Video for supermarket demonstrators showing how to cut a mango, recipe leaflets in English and Spanish
  • POS tear-off pads and consumer information signage.

To request any of these aids, send an e-mail to:
(be sure to include quantities and the purpose for which the materials will be used).

For more information, contact:
Mangos from Mexico Packer and Exporter Association (EMEX)
Lewis and Neale Inc.
35 East 21st Street
New York, NY 10010

How To Cut a Mango
  Illustrated Version  

Mango Varieties

Mango Recipes

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Mangos From Mexico Packer and Exporter Association (EMEX)
c/o Lewis and Neale Inc
35 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010