Freska's Gary Clevenger Talks Mango Promotion and Consumption
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
OXNARD, CA - It's a time of experimental tastes and surprising flavor trends that has a variety of produce categories on the rise. Consumer knowledge and awareness appears to be what unlocks consumption, and Freska is continuously working on new ways to keep them thinking mangos.
“Freska continues to try to come up with inventive ways of increasing mango volume with retailers,” Gary Clevenger, Managing Member and Partner of Freska, tells me.
This year, mango volume out of Mexico was upwards of eight million boxes over last year, according to Gary, and with consumption continuing to grow every year he says that the category looks to be positioned for future growth with promotion and education working to target audiences that have not tried mangos, as well as those that know certain varieties and have been introduced to others.
On the buyside, Freska continues this through displays with its retail partners that have created very encouraging numbers as far as moving the category to bigger levels, Gary tells me. And as for having mangos all year round?
“Having our year round program that supports the mango coming from different regions all supports the consumption and growth of the category,” Gary said. “We look at mangos the way the avocados started out, without much knowledge on how to use or prepare in dishes and then one day it just exploded.”
So how can retailers utilize this growth? By introducing mangos to their shoppers.
“Introducing to the consumer through in-store demo’s and point-of-sale material is best at pushing mangos to the consumer,” Gary stated. “Making bright, large displays can really drive sales and not make the mango relegated to the back of the store - this is the world’s most eaten fruit, and here in the States getting people to try it is the goal.”
And once they do try it, Gary says, they will be return customers.