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Mango Mania Begins- Despite Mango Chaos

June 23, 2022

Climate-induced unpredictability & heightened demand creates chaos in mangoland

The show must go on. Our annual summer promotion, Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania #MuchosMangoes starts today despite ultra-chaotic, confused markets particularly on the conventional side, which creates significate pressures on the organic side of things. Despite considerably delays with the Nayarit fruit starting, our show goes on and we expect our peak volumes and the mango mania to coincide with the month of July, kind of as planned.

We have been waiting and waiting and waiting for Nayarit fruit. There were many dissonant theories on what was to blame, but on my recent trip to Sinaloa I understood in a matter of seconds it was the weather. Most of the unpredictability in mangoes these days (all crops really) is weather related and the ever-changing global climate patterns. I have been traveling to Sinaloa at the same time every year for almost 11 years now and never have I experienced such “cool” weather for the area.

I typically stay in Mazatlán because I love the ocean, and El Rosario (where Empaque Don Jorge resides) is just a 40-minute drive from there – a commute that is worth it as the sunset back at the beach that keeps me as happy as the orchards. Normally Mazatlán is so hot I drip with sweat; I can’t get the air conditioning in the hotel cold enough and, even in the middle of the night out on the town it’s so hot, my clothes, most people’s clothes,  are soaking wet with sweat.

This time wasn’t like that. My air conditioning in the hotel was sufficient. In fact, I slept with my patio doors open and, with the ocean breeze wafting onto me, it was cool and comfortable. I didn’t sweat at all this time and even when it was hot it didn’t feel Sinaloa hot.  I heard all the rumblings that that was the case in Nayarit too, from where we desperately awaited the mangoes to be ready.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances  I never made it to the mango orchards or the packhouse. While surely it was hot, the folks that did go, I can guarantee you they never felt the real packhouse heat that is normal for this time of year.

Weather patterns continue to be more and more unpredictable. Product supply continues to fluctuate with the unpredictable weather patterns and each region, each micro region within each region, each varietal and each bloom set seems to be following unpredictable patterns, and patterns that are totally out of sync with each other.

I’m a pattern person and I do see some patterns in the chaos, but I’ll wait another full season before I really vocalize that. The pattern we all see is that mangoes are not as simple as they used to be. Something we are all currently feeling with Nayarit’s start and the chaotic mess we find ourselves in currently.

While waiting for Nayarit fruit to be ready, round fruit we are talking about,  we all ran out of southern fruit. It was too mature, and rains in Oaxaca and Chiapas made sure the end was cemented.  While conventional growers had some fruit from Jalisco and Colima to pull from for a bit on the organic side we didn’t.  To our credit, we didn’t gap with our customers on the organic side- we worked together, all held larger stocks- concentrated on the program sales and kept rather quit, concentrating on organic Ataulfo sales, which is a very big successful program for us. The Ataulfos started basically on time in Nayarit so we put them on ad and placed a great deal of concentration on those, that helped us get by. Also the Crespo’s pulled quote a few rabbits out of their hats, that helped too. Eventually Nayarit round fruit started and because we are somewhat more adaptable on the organic side, we adjusted immediately to the smaller crop.

A gap eventually happened on the conventional side and pipelines emptied in less than a week.  That gap coincided with historical contracts on the mass market retail side (CV), contracts that were made/priced with the normal low prices seen on conventional fruit from mid-June, which I’d argue are typically too low. Toss in a Nayarit crop that is literally 99% 10/12cnts and utter market chaos was born and that is currently exactly where we are now.

Typically at the start of Nayarit, the summer pricing goes into effect which is usually significantly lower and, because there is so much volume coming from Nayarit and Sinaloa in comparison to the other regions, people scramble to do contracts to move this fruit – usually at rock bottom prices for Mexico. It’s typically a volume game.  But this year it’s far more complicated and a lot of people are losing money, buying at historically high prices to cover contracts at significantly lower.

So here we all are- mango chaos – the fruit is too small, there isn’t enough and demand is at an all-time high. Packing houses are struggling to pack quick enough to fill the emptied pipeline and many are struggling with labor, logistical and packaging issues as are common in the world today. To quote one importer I spoke with, “It’s a bloodbath out there.”

Meanwhile on our sweet organic side of the equation, we planned and struggled through the transition, people adjusted sizing and, for the most part, we went on as usual.  We moved down to summer pricing for our programmed customers, our plans to get mangoes priced accordingly at retail level commenced and Summer Mango Mania went ahead as planned. Sure we didn’t have big fruit and that leaves our processors who cut organic fruit struggling and cutting smaller fruit. But the thing about the organic sector is they have always had to adjust and so when they need to they do.

So while CV markets go bizerk, we keep our heads down and focused on building volumes we need to sell. Today it’s mostly 10-12cnts and maybe in a few weeks is 9-10 as Nayarit has had some rain and a little rain makes the fruit grow bigger- toss in heat and it’s a sure thing. We pivot and adjust.

We focus on stable prices, loyal repeat customers, and building sustainable mango programs that can stand the test of climate change and unpredictability.

While it’s true that many of our current Summer Mango Mania prices set through July 31st are  {at the moment} cheaper than CV markets, we know the volatility of the CV market and we know fruit is coming. It will continue to come in small and Sinaloa is late too so chaos will continue a bit longer, that is a fact.

There are various ideas on what happens next. From our own team, once Sinaloa fruit starts in early July things will level out again. Yes, the fruit will continue to be smaller than we’d like but it will exist and exist in volume.

Others (importers mostly who don’t own their own fruit or packhouses) say it will be at least three more weeks, when Mochis starts, until any relief will come. Most predict Sinaloa & Mochis fruit will be smaller, too. That part is hard to say.

For now, we focus. You all know by now we are a program-based brand. We believe in business that’s consistent week after week and loyal partnerships that help us build long-term sustainable mango programs. We have come this far, had only a few real shortages on the organic side, mostly just delays, we haven’t gouged anyone. We raised prices where we could but not outrageously. We work together. A few customers even volunteered to pay more money on the contract prices. This for me exemplifies our Direct – Trade system.

So, despite the chaos we move ahead- together.


Summer Mango Mania #MuchosMangoes starts today. The goal is to move product and educate, excite, engage and entice consumers. We can do that under any circumstances.

Check out this year’s (building) events calendar and have some fun!


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