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Summer Mango Mania

Featured, News

Mango Update: Embracing Imperfection

June 4, 2024

Straggling Ugly Mangoes  & The First Summer Mango Mania Displays

 As of this weekend, all packinghouses in Oaxaca and Chiapas have shut down for the season. The last batch of round mangoes was shipped out of our packinghouse, Bola de Oro, last Friday. The final shipment of Oaxacan Ataulfo mangoes had occurred about a week earlier. The transition from south to north appeared “fine,” but, as I have mentioned before, it was actually a challenging shift. These changes in regional volumes are often difficult, particularly on the organic side of things, which is my primary focus, from where I sit,  under my mango tree.

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Featured, News

{Organic} Transition North

May 10, 2024

Positive direction forward, propelled by consumers

When times are tough, as they have been for the mango industry it’s important to keep perspective, something I can be both good and bad at as stress can get the best of me, just like it does all of us. But perspective is important and there is no better place to find produce perspective than through those that have boots on the ground. My latest crop report is speckled with a lot of positivity and a reminder that even when times are tough its possible to create a chain of success throughout the entire chain….from orchard to table. I’m not denying its been hard, I’m simply acknowledging that by working together we create a thriving mango environment that moves forward, despite the setbacks!

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Four Seasons Fresh Fest for the second year in a row. This even is truly an amazing experience. I don’t often work a booth, Id always rather work a tasting and cutting demo at retail, but this even is the one that gets me off my busy butt and on a plane into the middle of Pennsylvania. I do it because it puts me in touch with the fruits of all of our labor and this year I needed that more than most.

Meeting with a multitude of small, medium and large retailers and produce managers along with the sales people that engage with these folks daily gets me to the heart of the selling side and a closer perspective of the shopper, who essentially rules all. I get the opportunity to understand various problems from different perspectives, sow seeds for solutions, and foster human connections. It’s a reminder that our interactions are about more than just transactions.

During the same eventful weekend, we had the pleasure of directly connecting with consumers at one of our Mango Tastings & Cutting Demos during the grand opening of a new Nature’s Food Markets store in New Jersey, alongside Four Seasons. This opportunity not only deepened our insights, spread more #MangoJoy more directly from farm to table, educated more mango shoppers and as one person put it, ” sold a sh*it ton of mangoes!”

Despite the persistent challenges faced this mango season, which I have continuously reported on, I made a remarkable discovery during my excursion east. Despite the difficulties, customers and consumers continue to experience significant #mangojoy, driving consistent and profitable sales of #muchosmangoes, and remaining relatively joyous and excited about mangoes despite the higher market prices we’re all grappling with.

My latest crop report is set against the backdrop of this – it’s viewed through new mango blush-colored lens. In essence, I see a lot more positivity, and I’m certain that all of us who have been toiling behind the scenes, especially Jose Angel Crespo, who bears the most stress of any of us, can appreciate this newfound perspective.

Bottom line the season is tough, and it is expected on the organic side to remain tough for several more weeks before we feel some respite when production transitions to the more voluminous production zones in the north, where our main packhouse Empaque Don Jorge- Latin Americas largest hydrothermic mango packhouse, eagerly awaits packing more fruit.

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Featured, News

Mango Difficulties Continue (Crop Report)

April 17, 2024

Planning, committing, flexibility and a love of small things key to success

Currently mango markets are confusing. There is a lot less fruit on the trees in comparison to previous years.  While there is fruit available, it tends to be smaller in size. Ataulfos are more abundant (overall) compared to previous years, yet they are also smaller, and with an extraordinary, heightened demand. Despite an increase in the number of orchards in production, actual yields are proving to be inconsistent and generally lower than usual. Organic production is generally a smaller portion of large so anything lower in yield makes the gap more profound.  Conventional markets are flooded with small fruit, lacking larger options, and the pricing on the market hides some of the nuances, after all if there are no 14cnt Ataulfos, what does it matter is the price is lower? Michoacan is in full swing and mostly producing 12cnt sizing on conventional rounds.  Growers are hesitant to accept lower prices and are holding out for best offers, they are in fact seeing less fruit yields first hand. EMMEX reports show some good numbers, but they don’t really place them against the backdrop of the insatiable demand. Guatemala is producing good volumes (only conventional) but they only have 10-12cnts, adding to overall volume numbers in all reports but also adding to the generally lower conventional prices. Many current conventional contracts are viewed as loss leaders. The real question is really if the wall of mangoes everyone keeps talking about is real or merely a mirage. Either way its important (as I always say) to sperate the organic and conventional if we want organic programs to be successful. Organic programs take a lot of precision, which means we have to at some point drown out the conventional noise.

Organic and conventional mango markets present a monumental contrast akin to the David and Goliath tale. From the vantage point of the organic mango tree under which I sit, it’s the organic facts that hold the utmost significance. Despite my usual knack for navigating information flows, this season has presented unprecedented challenges, leaving me somewhat at a loss, yet persistently trying to gather accurate data.  My information  this season is often lacking, but it’s what I got.

There is good and bad news amidst the numerous mango complexities and the Crespo Organic specifics.

The good news is that we opened Empaque Don Jorge (El Originál), or EDJI for short. Situated in Rosario, Sinaloa, EDJI stands as our hometown packhouse and also holds the title of Latin America’s largest hyrdothermic mango packinghouse. With a processing capacity of up to a million pounds of mangoes per day at full throttle, it’s an impressive feat. While reaching peak packing capacity may well over a month, aligning perfectly with the larger Nayarit production, EDJI immediately broadens our packing horizons. This means we can truck in organic produce from our orchards in multiple states. It’s conveniently located within a day’s drive from the RCF Distributors’ Nogales and McAllen warehouses.  EDJI’s opening enhances our ability to balance supply and demand more seamlessly, particularly in terms of  the current sizing issues, managing product to both warehouses with agility and more reliable trucking since most the trucks are from our own fleet. The packhouse’s opening gives us instantly gives us better access to information for better decision making during these tough times. (I’ll delve into more details and strengths of EDJI in a subsequent post, but for now, I wanted to focus on the advantages of the early opening in terms of the challenges we face now.)

The unfortunate news this week revolves around our southern Chiapas packhouse, Empaque Don Jorge II (EDJII), which had to cease packing mangoes last week, approximately a month earlier than scheduled. Escalating cartel violence along the southern Mexican border prompted the USDA to withdraw their inspectors from Chiapas due to safety concerns. (It’s worth noting that every mango packhouse must have a USDA inspector present to oversee the APHIS approved method for controlling fruit fly infestations, known as the hot water treatment, crucial for exporting to the USA.) Without USDA certification, the product cannot be deemed fruit fly-free and therefore cannot be imported into the USA, leading to the immediate closure of EDJII.

A substantial quantity of organic mangoes is packed in this facility. The contingency plan involved transferring this packing operation to our other packhouses in Oaxaca and Sinaloa. However, this transition, along with reallocating conventional packing to other conventional packhouses in order to make room, has proven time-consuming and is still in progress. We anticipate reaching a more favorable position for maximum packing potential on organics by the end of next week. As one of the largest organic packers, this closure has significantly disrupted an already struggling organic system. The closure coincided with some gaps and lower yields on organics in general, further complicating the turnaround process.

General Overview (Organic Re-cap)
We and generally everyone is projecting more volume to start coming in the next 10 days but not enough to flood the markets. The fruit in Michoacan was/is delayed and has a lot less volume than last year, predominantly smaller sizing 10/12cnts (mostly 12’s). Very Little organic fruit will come from there. Chiapas, where a significant amount of our southern orchards are located, have always produced large volumes and good yields and this year their output is a great deal lower and we are not totally sure why.

Oaxaca which usually starts winding down in late April and has been very hard to predict and has had a lot of gapping until now. Currently everything indicates that the Oaxacan season will run rather well until the end of May.  The good news is this overlap of fruit between Nayarit and Oaxaca will prevent the usual late April- early may gaps and shortages from happening this year. Good for Cinco de Mayo sales.

Organic Ataulfo Outlook
Organic Ataulfos will continue to be small and innumerous until the arrival of Nayarit fruit in early May. Overall volume is lower, with a significant portion of the crops being size 20 and smaller. Despite market demands, the organic sector remains firm on size flexibility, contributing to ongoing shortages in terms of what the market wants versus what the trees produce. Pricing is anticipated to align with volumes and sizing, independent of movements in conventional markets. As for Nayarit’s upcoming season, sizing remains uncertain at this stage, volume is predicted decent with ample fruit set after blooming and plenty of good maturation happening.

Organic Round Mangoes (Tommy Atkins)
Organic round mangoes are faring better in terms of supply and demand compared to Ataulfos, primarily due to the organic sector’s preference for 8-9-10 sizing, with a decent demand for 12-count sizing as well. The southern Chiapas region, currently the main source of fruit, is yielding exactly that. While larger sizes, like 6-7 counts, are somewhat scarce, they do exist and are finding their way to select customers, including a few West Coast retailers and high-end processors. The generally smaller sizes are expected to persist for weeks to come, and Nayarit’s season is anticipated to commence in late May. Predicting sizing this early for Nayarit is challenging, but most forecasts suggest that Nayarit and Sinaloa will likely continue the trend of 8-10 sizing, which bodes well for the organic sector.

Summer Mango Mania (#MuchosMangoes)
The show must go on, and indeed it will. Summer Mango Mania is on schedule! Despite the challenges, there’s still plenty to offer, and we’re determined to transform those offerings into compelling and profitable opportunities for our distributors, retailers, and ultimately, our consumers. Summer season typically runs from June to August, with mango mania  dates spanning from June 15th to August 31st.

Our promotional materials will feature the usual array of bells and whistles, along with Crespo Organic’s signature  and popular mango-ed. This includes informative POP materials, recipe cards, consumer posters detailing how to choose, store, cut, and use mangoes, as well as varietal posters, including our Mango Queen specialty mango line, featuring our organic Mallikas, Nam Doc Mais, and Kiew Savoys dressed up in those opulent educational UPC’d tags for easy register ring up. Crespo  Organic Mango Bins will be readily available, accompanied by some flashy new secret display additives. Oh and of course the dried mangoes that everyone loves during mango mania! We are hearing words from merchandisers like Brian Dey (Merchandiser of the Year mind you) that there are BIG display plans that surpass last years!

We’re anticipating a general plentiful supply of mangoes, enabling retailers to offer attractive price points to shoppers.  We will fuel the mango frenzy  by conducting live demos and tastings and cooking classes in select areas, and ample virtual support for all, including  all kinds of events and Zoom classes on How to Cut Mangoes,  cooking classes like Summer Mango Salads and Mangoes- Bring Um to the BBQ. Consumers have grown to anticipate and love our summer mango promotion, and we’re confident it won’t disappoint. Keep an eye out for your POS order forms landing in your inbox next week, and remember, there’s always room for more to join in the summer fun. Reach out to us at info@crespoorganic.com if you’re interested! A tough season needn’t be a bad one with good partners!

 

Culture, Featured, News, People

Cultivating #MangoJoy for Profit

September 19, 2023

The ROI of Crespo’s Summer Mango Mania promotion

 I know I live in a world that doesn’t register ROI in happiness, let alone recognize the monetary value of #MangoJoy.  I am, however, acutely aware that #MangoJoy has value and that when we work together to cultivate it, building comprehensive mango programs that encircle it,  everyone (including farmers and farming communities) reap more substantial and sustainable profits, a rather difficult thing to achieve within any organic produce commodity; regardless of if you are a retailer, wholesaler or a grower/packer/shipper like El Grupo Crespo. Our summer mango promotion was designed to do just that.  And yes, I’ve got empirical data, retailer, wholesaler and processor testimonials along with loads of intuitive data to prove that our Summer Mango Mania promotion works, delivering profits to retailers, excitement to shoppers and sustainability for our growing program.

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Featured, Kitchen, News

Crespo Organic Debuts Opulent Specialty Mango Tags

July 2, 2023

Educational, Insightful, & Strategic Packaging

Mango Queen Specialty Mangoes- Check out the site!

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.

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Featured, Kitchen

Mexican-Mango Oleo-Saccharum

June 25, 2023

A  flavor-laden libation syrup made from mango peels

I love the exploratory process of creating new recipes, getting to travel through so many unknowns as I connect ideas and ingredients. Exploring new and unfamiliar possibilities with my creativity  fills me with incredible joy. This new recipe brought a lot of joy in the creation process and in the enjoyment of the drink, which I’m currently sipping on whilst I type.

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Farm, Featured, News

“Little” Fruit Brings Opportunity

May 31, 2023

Crespo mango expertise bridges transition into Summer Mango Mania

 I’ve been selling organic mangoes for a long time and, as so many of us forget, the greatest season-long program success happens when you nail the transitions. It’s the performance during the transition that dictates what stores have fruit and at what price. Just like in music, those connecting notes, the transitions is what leads you to the next phase of the whole. We take the transitions seriously, we get creative and we utilize the partnerships we forget with customers, making it work. Clear communication, more than anything is pivotal for any transitional success, in particular when there are volume supply or quality issues at play. The direct relationships to customers and the nimble work we do together, with the trust of the consumers who fuel our program, make the transitions easier to maneuver through so we can build and grow successful organic Mexican mango programs…. This is what we are known for.

The Crespo’s fully and vertically integrated supply chain and direct-trade selling system is what makes them the mango experts. It’s because of that expertise we will not skip a beat in the final days of the great mango transition, which is when a regional production shift from southern Oaxaca & Chiapas to Northern Nayarit and Sinaloa happens.

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Featured, News

What the Heck is Summer Mango Mania?

May 11, 2023

Quick answer: #MangoJoy by way of #MuchosMangoes PRICED RIGHT

Summer:  the warmest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from June to August
Mango: a tropical oval or oblong fruit with succulent and juicy aromatic pulp and firm varying color blush toned skin and a hard central pit
Mania: an excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession

 The mango’s popularity is soaring to new heights amongst Americans as they learn what the rest of the world already knew about the most widely consumed fruit globally. It is versatile and delicious and, thanks to the proximity of Mexico and Crespo Organic, priced perfectly at the peak of summertime.

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Featured, News, Secrets & Lies

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.

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Featured, Kitchen

Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania Events Calendar – 2022

June 20, 2022

 

Are you ready for  #MuchosMangoes & #MangoJoy ?

Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania #MuchosMangoes is here and the Crespo Organic Kitchen is going to make it extra special this summer.

What is Crespo Summer Mango Mania, you might ask? It’s the collision point between our peak production time in Nayarit & Sinaloa and the height of consumer demand, better known as; SUMMER TIME! For two months, in the heat of the summer, between June and August, while orchards are most copious, Mango Mania frenzy ensues! Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania desires to Educate, Excite Engage and Entice mango consumers with sweet price points and juicy sales, delicious culinary and educational events and a general spreading of useful, relevant mango education.

We offer a full spectrum of creative and reliable resources and experiences, designed to stimulate, and entice purchases at the store level, as well as educate and arouse consumers digitally and in person.  It’s essentially the spreading of #MangoJoy and the building of loyal mango eaters.

  • Social Media Contests & Giveaways
  • Mango Tips & Tricks
  • Demos and Tastings
  • Culinary Education
  • #ChooseYourCut
  • Cooking Classes
  • KICK Events
  • Farmer Talks
  • Commodity Education
  • Recipes and Recipe Videos
  • Swag

All brought to you by the Crespo Organic Kitchen, which is essentially the test kitchen for all things Crespo Organic, managed by me (Nissa)  and my company Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center ; a small food  education,   sales & marketing  and media company;  specializing in local, organic, fairly traded,   sustainable food and agricultural. Ger-Nis  supports small global growers and organic brands around the world in with a bevy of services, skills and connections.

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