National Mango Board's Jessica Bohlman Discusses Key Buy-Side Strategies Leading Up to Cinco de Mayo
ORLANDO, FL - Ask me for 100 different ways to eat mangos, and I will give you 101. Regardless of how buyers choose to highlight this versatile category, it is a show-stopper in produce departments as shoppers fill their baskets in preparation for Cinco de Mayo—better known as Cinco de Mango. I recently spoke with National Mango Board Communications Manager Jessica Bohlman, who let me in on a few of the secrets behind making mango dollars soar leading up to May 5.
“Cinco de Mango is an opportunity to highlight Mexican culture and what makes it unique,” Jessica tells me. “We want to continue to educate buyers on just how versatile the mango is and what it can add to produce departments. A lot of people put it in a box in terms of flavor, but there are so many things it can be used for. Mangos are not just a tropical fruit to put in a smoothie; they can be used as a savory ingredient, too.”
The most popular mango varieties leading up to Cinco de Mayo include Tommy Atkins and Ataulfo, also known as Honey mangos. Tapping into this unique category is all about placement, as retailers can cross-merchandise these vibrant varieties throughout the produce department to inspire consumers.
“Placement is key,” explains Jessica. “Positioning mangos adjacent to citrus pulls the category away from the exotic set and helps establish a semi-permanent placement within the produce department. Secondary placement of mangos provides the opportunity to merchandise them in an unexpected area like the bakery or meat and seafood department, which drives impulse sales.”
Nearing the Cinco de Mayo holiday, retailers can also position mangos adjacent to avocados to boost sales and play off of the pairing of the two fruits in traditional Mexican foods like guacamole and mango salsa. The National Mango Board offers vibrant seasonal display bins to showcase mangos for Cinco de Mango and all year round.
“We love helping to educate both consumers and retailers about this amazing fruit. There are plenty of opportunities to create more awareness about the mango category,” Jessica adds. “For retailers, understanding how to merchandise the fruit and what a ripe mango looks like is really important to us. A fun fact not a lot of people know is that the Ataulfo variety’s skin wrinkles when it is ripe. Some may choose to discard or overlook the fruit in this state, but consumers should be encouraged to select the fruit in this stage, as it’s ready to eat.”
The National Mango Board also offers its retail partners a ripe and ready program, as providing consumers with a ready-to-eat piece of fruit is shown to have a positive impact on sales and customer satisfaction. The University of California-Davis conducted in-store consumer tests on behalf of the National Mango Board indicating that consumer acceptance doubles, increasing from approximately 39 percent for unripe mangos to 87 percent for the same fruit, when it is ripe.
The National Mango Board also provides recipe inspiration, nutrition info, and other education through its social channels.
Cinco de Mayo and mangos go hand-in-hand, so don’t forget to ramp up your displays ahead of the holiday. Your shoppers will surely thank you.
As always, keep your eyes on AndNowUKnow as we continue to report on all things fresh produce.
Companies in this Story
National Mango Board
The board’s mission is to increase awareness and consumption of fresh mangos in the U.S. The NMB works toward this...