In my old stomping ground of Hawaii, it seems as though everyone and their mom has a mango tree in their yard, so my love of the tropical treat developed at an early age. And with consumers becoming more adventurous in their produce predilections, mangos may be the next diamond in the rough to capture shoppers’ hearts and taste buds—a development I would gladly welcome. Tom Hall, Sales Manager at Freska Produce, explained to me the state of the mango market, Freska’s presence in the category, and the quality standards that drive the company.
“As far as quality, we take great pride in bringing a quality product to market and put strict controls in place at the packing shed to ensure just that,” Tom told me. “At each packing shed we have our own quality control (QC) team examining the quality of the lots upon arrival and scrutinizing the mangos over the entire process. Hopefully, those measures reflect in our finished product and reassure our clients, and ultimately the consumer, when they purchase our mangos.”
Right now, Freska is packing Tommy Atkins and Ataulfos aka Honey Mangos, with limited production on Kents—the volume on the Kent variety will be sporadic until July, when retailers will see consistent supplies. The company is both expecting and targeting similar volume as previous years out of Mexico.
“There will be some competitive factors in the month ahead as we see the rise of the traditional summer fruits (cherries, stonefruit, grapes), and with volumes peaking from Mexico, we typically face some challenges this month,” said Tom. “Although things are a bit slower after the Memorial Day holiday, we are still seeing good retail support and hopefully they will drive all the incremental volumes.”
Demand is beginning to peak on the company’s export program, and though the numbers have been higher than usual, Freska doesn’t expect any supply gaps through summer and into the end of the season in October. Freska got lucky with the growing weather, experiencing some slightly cooler weather that delayed the crop a little, but since the company has transitioned out of those earlier areas, it’s been smooth sailing.
Freska specializes in more than just fresh mangos, with the addition of its Organic Dried Mangos. 100 percent organic, with no sugar added, the dried mangos are a year-round way for consumers to enjoy the exceptional taste of mangos, with none of the guilt associated with other “fruit” snacks. With both fresh and dried options, Freska has retailers and consumers covered all year long.