Freska Produce International's Gary Clevenger Discusses Mango Sales in the Lead Up to Ecuador Transition
OXNARD, CA - Where would a produce department be these days without the popular, flavorful, and vibrant mango category? I dare not ask. And with Freska Produce International, you may never have to. Currently harvesting in Northern Mexico with Kent and Keitt varieties to carry retailers through most of September, Freska is bringing an extensive mango program tailored to its customers and the consumer.
Managing Principal Gary Clevenger joins me to share the hallmarks of the program so far this year, and why sales will shine with a great mango program.
“Quality has been very good this year and we are seeing increased consumption with our customers once again,” Gary tells me. “Mexico is approximately three million cartons ahead of last year at this time, and while prices were above average through May and June, they have come off a bit to more normal levels for this time of the year. It is an ideal time for sales and promotional opportunities.”
As Freska’s mango program wraps up in Mexico during September, the company will be transitioning to its Ecuador operations where the region will run through January 2019 with Ataulfo a.k.a. Honey Mangos, Tommy Atkins, Hadens, Kents, and Keitts. This transition currently looks to be two weeks ahead of schedule. Peru will begin shipping in December 2018 with mostly Kent varieties and will run through March 2019.
“With Freska’s year-round supplies, organic offerings, and now Fair Trade certifications, we have positioned ourselves with all the tools to provide great service to any retailer,” Gary says. “We continue to employ our own QC staff to oversee the packaging of our labels which provides our customers assurances of quality and consistency. Recently, we have also been offering dried mangos with some of our partners in Mexico and look to grow this business in the next year.”
As Gary shares with me, mangos have doubled in consumption over the past few years, and with it being one of the most eaten fruits in the world, it is no wonder Freska is seeing the popularity and consumption go up year after year.
“The nutrition and year-round availability play a key role in this but, ultimately, it is the flavor that drives customers back for more purchases and the versatility in uses is endless,” Gary concludes.
Shopping list made? Check. Mangos included? Always.