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Peruvian mangos big growth opportunity for McDaniel & Chirico

By
Keith Loria

McDaniel & Chirico is a trusted grower, packer and shipper of fresh avocados, lemons, limes and more, selling under the Linda Vista Brand since 1953.

The company is also a year-round mango company strategically moving from Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru over the course of the year.

“Our Peruvian mangos are an essential and growing part of our company,” said Michael Chirico, president of the company. “We are in our third year packing the Linda Vista brand from Peru, and year over year, we have grown significantly. Our focus, before placing the Linda Vista label, always starts with high-quality growers with an efficient supply chain. This is essential to provide the highest quality and longest shelf life possible. Giving consumers a positive buying experience is key.”

Growing conditions in Peru have been excellent resulting in good volume and sizing similar to last year, so the company expects a strong season.

“Quality from this region simply gets better and better every year,” said Alan Napolitano, national director of sales for the company. “We are currently on track to continue through March, and although a bit lighter in volume toward the end, which is normal, it will lead us right into the Mexican crop, which appears like it will be ready to start approximately the first week of March on round fruit.”

The McDaniel & Chirico team members have worked with the national mango board and have done cooperative demonstrations at customer locations to help show how in the past decade, mango has continually moved away from being a niche tropical item into the mainstream.

 Success in the category starts with consistency above everything else, he added.

“Transitioning supply from so many origins throughout the year brings many unique challenges from harvesting, packing, transportation, storage and varietal changes, which each have their own distinct needs and solutions; we always need to anticipate and stay ahead,” Napolitano said. “Consistent supply and consistent quality is needed so our clients as well as the end consumers have a smooth experience despite any challenges that may appear. We are also highly communicative with our clients and keep them aware of all factors relating to the weather, market and transportation.”

When things were improving with vaccinations and places opening up in the fall, business improved for the company; however, with the new variants coming to light, Chirico noted there could be somewhat of a bumpy ride in the first quarter of 2022. Still, he’s cautiously optimistic about what’s ahead.

Opportunities rest in continuing to bring Peruvian mangos to the forefront in displays, expanding fresh-cut with in-season fruit and further consumer education. At the retail level, continuing with forward displays that focus on mangos when they are at their best is key.

With that in mind, he encourages retail partners to specifically focus on mangos right now — not just in the summer. 

“This will allow mangos to become a staple fruit item,” Chirico said. “Its availability, health benefits and flavor profile make it a great fit for continued growth. Those in the know recognize, especially, Peruvian Kents as some of the best eating fruit of the entire year.”

Elsewhere around the company, in 2022, it will continue to grow its organic lemon, lime and avocado categories.

“We offer conventional and organic lemons, limes and avocados, all shipping together from our Texas facility,” Chirico said. “We have also recently named Michael Napolitano as director of organics due to all his work in the category segment.”

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