Educational, Insightful, & Strategic Packaging
I am very proud of the work we are releasing today with the launch of the new Mango Queen specialty mango line!! I am very proud of the Crespo Organic Mango brand in general– not just in relation to my work in creating its modern form, but also the work of the countless others in El Grupo Crespo who shaped it’s reality, regardless of the marketing. The brand is essentially a modern manifestation of founder Roberto Crespo Fitch’s original vision: that hard work, expertise, and innovation toward growing quality mangoes, while nurturing the community on which said mangoes are grown, will bring success. Success for the family, the business, the community, and mango eaters, too.
The brand unfolded rather organically (no pun intended but it’s still punny ☺). It has always been more of a representation of Roberto Crespo Fitch’s initial vision, and it zooms in on the expertise and passion that the Crespo siblings have contributed over the years. The brand further reflects and is enriched by the multigenerational communities that make it work day to day, and it is strengthened by the loyalty derived from strong customer partnerships and consumer appreciation.
My role in brand-making has always been easy. I simply tell the story that is unfolding in front of me: past, present and future. By virtue of who I am, I have also added my culinary and food education magic to the mix, underscoring the truth of the statement “we are the mango experts …..from orchard to table.”
From my vantage point, this brand is more about family, culture, and community filtered through the joy experienced when near anything mango-related. The new Crespo Organic Specialty Mango line and its opulent new Mango Queen sub brand is an addendum to the entire organic Mexican mango experience, which has become synonymous with our Crespo Organic brand.
Our Mango Queen sub brand, is the organic side’s answer to the CV Mango King brand which was named in memory of our RCF Distributors legendary specialty mango salesman Alan Alvarez aka “the Mango King.” It captures the essence of what a special mango experience is, and it helps redefine mango varietal and mango packaging standards with one luxe elastic band. I hope it raises the bar, both on the growing side, taking risks and investing in more biodiversity and flavor diversity and in terms of what it means to provide useful culinary and product education to consumers in a “consumable” way.
The new Crespo Organic Mango Queen line was born from the Crespo family’s years of global networking and industry insights collected through their mango growing and selling experiences since the 1960’s and through my own experience in the food and culinary sector. Our internal marketing systems are fairly advanced when it comes to data collection, and we are fully invested in our own market research. The personal face-to-face feedback from consumers during the many in-store cutting demos and tastings also played a big part in the final packaging design. I am confident it will deliver positive and lasting results for both sides of the border.
Our pleasing packaging design offers solutions to all the main complications in introducing new mango varietals to the US market and specifically into retail. One of the greatest challenges in produce, especially with specialty fruits and vegetables, is the lack of Price Look Up Codes (PLU’s) and other coding mechanisms to ensure proper ring-up. Specialty items are often priced higher, and the lack of clear and foolproof product coding contributes to significant losses for the retailer—so much so that it is often not worth offering the product to their shoppers.
Up until now, the PLU sticker has been the standard labeling solution for the US mango industry. Even without specialty mangoes, the PLU pool of options is limited, with one number meant to cover a handful of sizes and varietals, which makes it difficult for retailers to promote several varietals and sizes at once. This also makes it difficult for mango growers to receive differing prices back, and we know every penny counts for farmer margins.
The last time a new mango PLU was introduced to the market was in 2017. After all of my years in the industry, I can’t even determine who makes that kind of thing happen, but it is likely no one that is concerned with a grower’s success in promoting a new varietal. Naked fruit isn’t a viable option either, as some of the specialty mangoes look too similar. The ring up problem exists with or without the PLU sticker.
Sure, there are some folks that use the sticker bands on specialty mangoes. I think I have seen those used on some Australian mangoes, but those stickers pose a lot of challenges on the packing side. We tried that on our RCF Mango King brand’s CV Mallika mango program, and have are planning to switch that line to the elastic bands as well. We have several mango varietals and all are made up of widely varying sizes. We would need to have several different sticker sizes to make it work, and the lack of uniformity takes away from the specialty elements needed to capture the premium price.
Our solution-oriented Specialty Mango line packaging solves all of these issues with a unique UPC on each label on every single mango: a UPC that has been meticulously checked on various scanning systems throughout several grocery stores across the country.
Our tag is an ordinary produce elastic tag widely used on other fruits and vegetables. It can be used on multiple sized mangoes without damaging the mango or skin, regardless of how ripe the mango is. It also offers enough space to include Point of Purchase insight to consumers, which research shows they desire on items that they might be interested in buying but don’t have much information on.
Let’s not forget the reality that Americans are new to mangoes and, compared to most other nations, do not know much about the more common varietals, let alone the specialty ones. This is the entire point of the Crespo Organic Kitchen: to educate on all things mango. There is a lot of work that needs to be put into this stuff. Luckily, people love mangoes and the educators are popping up all over on the same quest. Mango Hunter Jeff Ray, recently shared a video on his Instagram, giving us a glimpse into the subject of lack of varietals in the US marketplace. Jeff is on a mission to review as many mango varietals as possible. (We will be sending him all of ours!)
Growing organic specialty mangoes and then ensuring consumers enjoy an optimal eating experience after having processed the mangoes in the hot water bath and then cross-country shipping (without much history to use as a blueprint) is no easy endeavor. Jorge Crespo, aka the Mango Man, is passionate about new varietals and the entire Crespo family believes diversity in varietals are good for the future of their Mexican lands, and mango eaters. The new solution-oriented specialty tags help us build, grow, and sustain the production immediately, helping when it’s needed most.
One of the largest hurdles in launching any new specialty item is consumer awareness. Someone must teach people what these mangoes are and how to use them. Someone (or in this case something) needs to educate, engage, excite, and entice shoppers at the display. If you know anything about the Crespo Organic brand, you know we don’t assume anyone or anything will do the work for us. Our new tags offer instant education on everything from orchard to table, like we always promise (and deliver).
The new tags showcase mangoes in their natural state, luring shoppers in with their vibrancy and opulence. They allow shoppers to simultaneously see, smell, and feel the mango, while gaining insight into the varietal and the cultural origins of the mango. We commissioned seasoned artist Jennifer Manning, who created all of the Crespo Organic artwork for the brand and sub brands, to produce the custom hand drawn art for each tag. We know they will captivate and encourage the inquisitive consumers to scan the QR code. Like our recent Mango Display Bins, they transmit important and relevant information to the consumer at the point of decision making, aiding in not just the purchase but in creating excitement about the unique experience to come. We are still working on more assets for this new portion of the website, and I will be hard at work this summer adding more content for the QR codes.
The design concept utilizes the colorful and vibrant colors of Crespo Organic’s Summer Mango Mania campaign/sub brand, which aligns with the timing of this specialty line’s summer offering. We wanted the tags and specialty line of mangoes to exude art and culture. We were not only striving for (and I think achieved) opulence, but also to express the richness of the lands and cultures from which the mangoes originate and how that richness collides with our Mexican mango culture and Mexican communities.
The vision I had, since the onset, was always opulence and educational insight. The concept trajectory eventually landed on the following elements which help us connect the brand to the message.
Luxe The Packaging needed to feel elegant and lavish. It needed to seek attention in a highly respectable way and deliver the promise that something extraordinary will happen with the purchase of one of these mangoes.
Bold The eye-catching bright, bold colors of our Summer Mango Mania campaign were chosen to help captivate and ignite curiosity. The tags make a colorful statement individually and as a group. The sleep and contemporary design sets them apart on a crowed summer fruit shelf. The art and pointing typeface evokes the far off places that these mangoes originally called home. It evokes both nostalgia and desire, and it places respect for the cultures at the forefront.
Delightful Obviously any Crespo Organic packaging needs to spark #MangoJoy and, with these tags, we wanted to deliver a more cheerful, fun, and playful sentiment. Encouraging the shopper to take a risk and try something new.
Educational Insights Education-centered packaging is the foundation for all our mango packaging and the brand itself. It is crucial to our mission that we incorporate educational elements that help create an all-encompassing consumer experience and a better mango-educated shopper.
Practical The tags had to be straightforward, not too expensive to produce, or too laborious to put on the mangoes. They had to solve the problems of the ring up and deliver a simple “less is more” feeling while being highly functional and allow the mango to remain the focal point.
Cultural Respect Part of our brand mission is to educate and bring attention to Mexican culture and help drive perceptions of the Mexican people and culture. The specialty line will quietly share and educate on the root origins of all our specialty mangoes. It will also include complementary in-store support and the virtual experience through the QR code which with unique and matching visual on ours website with all kinds of assets.
Product Posters ( Kiew Savoy | Mallika | Nam Doc Mai) , Traditional Recipes, (Spicy Thai Green Mango Salad/Som Tum Mamuang |Mango Cardamon Rose Kulfi Pops |Mango Sticky Rice/Khao Niaow Ma Muang) all of which incorporate smart and useful twists making them easy to shop for and create at home without much fuss and videos that educate on the varietals from orchard to table, including plenty of culinary videos: Recipe Videos, How To’s, Tips & Tricks.
Expect video, recipes and more site assets to be finalized before the new Mango Queen mangoes hit the shelves after moving through the supply chain!