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Ciruli gets early boost on its Champagne mango

By
Tim Linden

The challenging supply year for round red mangos gave an extra boost to the yellow variety, which led to a fantastic early season for Ciruli Bros’. Champagne label of Ataulfos.

Chief Operating Officer Chris Ciruli told The Produce News that May will be a challenging month for the yellow mango but the production area of Nayarit should enter the marketplace in June with great supplies and allow for a fine ending to the season for that variety. He explained that the round reds had a difficult transition from South America and Central America in the early part of this year, which gave Ciruli an excellent opportunity to secure great promotions for its yellow fruit at a very good price in March and April.

“We now are forecasting a rocky transition from Chiapas and Oaxaca as we move north to Nayarit, which will be the next big area for Ataulfos,” he said April 26. “As we move toward the Memorial Day holiday pull, we don’t think we’ll hit our full stride, but we do foresee a robust month of June, and then we will have to see how long we can last.”

Ciruli explained that the weather, and more specifically the amount of rain, will determine how long the trees will produce fruit into July. He said some years they get into the middle of July and some years they have trouble finding volume for the Fourth of July. He explained that hot and dry weather allows for a longer season.

“We just have to wait and see, but in the meantime, we will have very promotable volume throughout June,” he said, adding that the yellow fruit should size a little bit larger than the 20/22s that defined production in the April time frame.

Ciruli Bros. has been a yellow mango specialist for a quarter of a century and has been able to ride the wave of increasing popularity for that variety for the past decade.

“We continue to grow our volume of yellows and continue to increase our exports to the U.S. market,” Ciruli said. “It’s been amazing the growth we have witnessed. Twenty-five years ago, Ataulfos were probably the fifth most popular mango variety. Today they are No. 2, and we are the leading supplier of yellow mangos. We have more fruit than anybody else and our marketing team has done a very good job of promoting our Champagne brand.”

Ciruli added that the “honey mango” moniker has been used for the yellow mango for 30 years, first championed by Harry & David, the online fruit basket company.

“I’m not sure you will find many consumers saying honey mango, but we do see it a lot in business-to-business communications,” he said. “Most consumers, especially the Asian consumers, use yellow mango [as a moniker]. Only in Hispanic markets do they use Ataulfos.”

But a rose by any name still smells the same and the analogy works well for the ever-increasing sales of the yellow mango.

“Fortunately, we have been focused on the yellow mango for over 25 years,” Ciruli said. “We’ve established our brand and we have been able to penetrate many markets.”

Tim Linden

Tim Linden

About Tim Linden  |  email

Tim Linden grew up in a produce family as both his father and grandfather spent their business careers on the wholesale terminal markets in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Tim graduated from San Diego State University in 1974 with a degree in journalism. Shortly thereafter he began his career at The Packer where he stayed for eight years, leaving in 1983 to join Western Growers as editor of its monthly magazine. In 1986, Tim launched Champ Publishing as an agricultural publishing specialty company.

Today he is a contract publisher for several trade associations and writes extensively on all aspects of the produce business. He began writing for The Produce News in 1997, and currently wears the title of Editor at Large.

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