Freska Produce Managing Principal Gary Clevenger Discusses Year-Round Mango Program

Freska Produce Managing Principal Gary Clevenger Discusses Year-Round Mango Program

As one of the most popular fruits in the world, mangos are a must-have, front-and-center category for retailers and foodservice operators looking to meet the consumer demand for both flavor and nutrition. Bringing that delicious and vitamin-packed fruit to the forefront in 2018 is Freska Produce, and its year-round mango program.

“Now is the best time of the year for flavor profile and texture with the Kent variety out of Peru,” Managing Principal Gary Clevenger shares with me. “Couple this with healthy eating and you have a natural leading produce item to promote. Throw in some Honey mangos, also known as Ataulfos, and the combo of Kent and Honey varieties has you covered. There is not a better time to promote both of these popular mangos.”

Currently, Freska is harvesting mangos in two regions—Peru and Mexico—and is also harvesting avocados in California and Mexico to further support retail partners with another one of the world’s most popular fruits. Mangos out of Peru will wind down in March and Mexico will go on through September.

“In Peru, we are growing mostly the Kent variety, although there are a few Ataulfos and Tommy Atkins as well,” Gary notes. “The market for Peru Kents has been strong since the first of the year and will continue strong until we see volume from Mexico around the first part of April.”

Gary adds that a great way to grab the consumer is to engage and connect with them—and evaluating ripeness is an ideal talking-point. To check for a mango’s ripeness, make sure the Kents have a gentle give to them for perfect ripeness, and the Yellow Honey mangos should be eaten right at the point they begin to wrinkle, as this is maximum sweetness and flavor.

“We have multiple varieties from multiple locations at their peak of flavor, so retailers and foodservice operators should plan ahead and ensure their mango programs are covered,” Gary says. “It’s also a time of the year when we all try a little harder to eat better. Mangos alkalize the whole body, clear your skin, and they also lower cholesterol by the high level of fiber and are a great source of vitamin E.”