Over the last two years, Jade Produce expanded its space on the McAllen Produce Terminal in Texas from 15,000 to 20,000 square feet and made a commitment to return Mexican mangos to its offerings, after being out of the product segment for a while.
“A long time ago I used to move a lot of mangos to different companies, and when I opened up my own company, I really didn’t want to get into it because it’s a volume business,” said Rudy Uresti, owner and chief executive officer of the company. “I rethought my position and two years ago, got into it and had a great year. Last year we also had a great year.”
The reason he made the turnabout was growers were knocking on his door and he realized that it was a growth opportunity for Jade.
“We usually have limes, pineapples and other commodities throughout the year, which is tropical, but now with the mangos that we brought into the system it really helps out because we have a little bit of everything,” he said. “Our sales are up by 20 percent over last year and we’ve been increasing in sales and volume. We have four to five priority backbone varieties and the mangos are going to start being a big picture in our business.”
In its return to the Mexican mango market, the company sourced from Sinaloa only, but for 2017 Jade has expanded its relationships in the country and is now working with growers in southern Mexico as well, which should allow it to have supplies for the length of the Mexican season, which runs through early September.
“This year we started from the beginning, which was in early February, and I like it,” Uresti said. “I think it’s the best-tasting mango in the world. We have a little bit of everything, including 12s and 14s on the Tommys and Hadens, which customers are asking for.”
While things were good last year, Uresti foresees a much stronger season in 2017, especially since it’s covering the entire season and there are a number of suppliers who want to work with Jade.
“We used to get in at the tail end, which is the worst time of the year to get into mangos because everybody has them,” he said. Now “we get markets that are way better and a demand that’s way higher than at the tail end of the season.”
One of the reasons that customers are drawn to Jade’s mangos is the Pink label that it uses on its packaging.
“It’s really extraordinary the way it stands out,” Uresti said. “It really pops. We’re going to be going into all of our items with the Pink box soon because it really stands out everywhere.”
With everything looking strong, Uresti expects to add another warehouse and expand to 25,000 square feet by the end of 2017.