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Robinson Fresh continues to grow mango program

In 2017, Robinson Fresh claims to have been the second largest importer of Mexican mangos, and they are anticipating following up that success with even more volume this season. “This year we are adding new growers in key regions like Oaxaca and Sinaloa and increasing our supply plan with our existing growers by between 8 and 20 percent each,” said James Watson, commodity manager for the company.

Screen-Shot-2018-02-21-at-10.14.00-AMRobinson Fresh claims to be the second largest importer of Mexican mangos.The company began bringing Mexican mangos into the United States in January with the Ataulfo or Honey variety and the following week with the Haden variety. Watson told The Produce News on February 19, via email, “The Honey mangos are showing fair quality. This is typical for the early crop fruit out of Mexico as it normally has some cosmetic defects like scarring at the beginning of the season. The quality is expected to improve in the next few weeks. The Haden mangos are showing very good quality including a good blush or color to the fruit. Supplies are still low but are expected to increase in the next few weeks.”

As Robinson gears up for the increased volume, it’s working with its customers developing programs. “Robinson Fresh takes pride in our solution-centric approach to selling the mangos,” Watson said. “As part of this category, we invest all the necessary resources to developing customized solutions for each customer. In 2018, for example, we plan to provide several customers with customized packaging solutions to meet their specific consumer needs.”

Mangos have long been considered to be a great item to promote as sales can be positively impacted with good promotional pricing and displays. “Mangos are a popular promotional item during Cinco de Mayo and throughout the summer months,” said the Robinson Fresh representative. “Tie-ins with tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapple, and limes give options to easily create salsas and smoothies.”

When the market is tight, and demand exceeds supply, Watson said the best solution is to “reduce the size of the display and move the item back to its modular home.”

Based on 2017 Robinson Fresh category insights research, Watson said there are key strategies that can be employed to the mango’s benefit.

“By maximizing merchandising opportunities both in and outside the department based on current inventory on hand and aligning with causal impacts, mangos will flow more consistently, thus lowering inventory backups or out of stocks, as well as potential shrink,” he said. “This will ensure the department remains fresh and full, providing the best customer experience.”

He added that in-store demonstrations, pairing mangos with Tajin, a spicy seasoning that goes well with this tropical fruit, has been effective in helping to promote the item.