Mango Mess-tival celebrates its 5th birthday with a bang!

On 4 December 2016 – the first weekend of summer – Bondi was struck by mango madness as mango lovers from around Australia descended on the famous beach to celebrate all things mango at the annual Mango Mess-tival (Mess-tival)! 

NBSLSC nippers compete in a mango challenge.

NBSLSC nippers compete in a mango challenge.

Held in partnership with the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club (NBSLSC), Mess-tival honours the peak of mango season and the start of summer, but this year it had even more to celebrate as we marked the big milestone of Mess-tival’s 5th birthday! 

As in previous years, NBSLSC nippers faced-off in frenzied mango flag races and mango relay races, whilst off the sand, mango-eating competitions saw nippers go head-to-head against parents and members of the public in the hopes of winning a tray of juicy, fresh mangoes! 

Once again, our growers flew in from around the country to share their produce and educate the public on different varieties and taste profiles of Kensington Pride, Calypso, R2E2 and Honey Gold. These growers included Greg McMahon, Emma Harrison, Muy and Erika Keav, Steve Beatty, Gavin, Rebecca and Julie Scurr, Jake Zalm, Karen Muccignat and Melanie Groves.

This resulted in our highest sampling figures ever, with 8,800 mango samples taste-tested by Sydney’s mango lovers. This is a 3.5% increase on last year, representing an average of 37 samples per minute!

I’d like to say a big thank you to Greg McMahon for the Kensington Prides, Perfection Fresh Australia for the Calypsos, Ben Martin for the R2E2s and Gavin Scurr for the Honey Golds they generously donated for the day’s activities.

Back for a second year was the ever-popular social media photo booth, which saw 939 members of the public step-up to have their photo taken with promotional Aussie Mangoes gear, fresh mangoes and our #mangoemojiplease campaign signs! Their shot was then printed out and shared digitally with over 13,000 family and friends!

Also back by popular demand were the intricate mango carving demonstrations, completed by Charlie, a reputable fruit carver who handed out beautiful flower sculptures made from fresh Aussie Mangoes!

The mango smoothie bicycle was a new attraction this year.

The mango smoothie bicycle was a new attraction this year.

Moreover, this year’s Mess-tival included a brand new consumer activity: a smoothie bicycle! Throughout the day, mango-lovers hopped on board a bicycle and furiously peddled to blend their very own fresh mango smoothie! The bicycle also featured on one of Weekend Today’s six live weather crosses, filmed at Mess-tival throughout the morning. Other crosses included mango eating competitions, grilled mango hedgehogs on the barbecue, flower carving demonstrations and mango relay races. This broadcast was watched by over 300,000 people around Australia!

The mango festivities were also captured in The Daily Telegraph’s Best Weekend events planner section, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum magazine, and The Wentworth Courier. Moreover, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull stopped by to taste-test a mango flower, which was broadcast on Channel 7, Channel 9 and ABC’s nightly news bulletins, and Channel 10’s The Project.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Mess-tival was covered by Channel 7 news (above), Channel 9, ABC and Channel 10.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Mess-tival was covered by Channel 7 news (above), Channel 9, ABC and Channel 10.

Social media influencers also came down to join in the celebration, with Instagram’s @BonnyRebecca, @Emily_Hunt and @NourishingNicola sharing the fun with their community, whilst Channel 7’s Sunrise co-host, Samantha Armytage tried her hand at the smoothie bicycle and shared an image on her Instagram page, which was picked up by The Daily Mail Australia!

Indeed, this year’s Mess-tival press office coverage and social media influencer activity has reached over 14 million people—that is 6 million more than last year! 

Whilst Mess-tival is designed to drive demand and keep mangoes top-of-mind for consumers throughout the festive season, the day’s efforts also go towards raising funds for NBSLSC, who are then able to purchase much-needed life-saving equipment and dedicate more resources to training its members. This year saw a huge $16,820 raised, contributing to a grand five-year total of $70,320! 

Whether you contributed mangoes, watched the Today broadcast, attended Mess-tival, or devoured a mango in honour of the 5th birthday celebrations, we would like to thank everyone who took part this year. With evaluation underway, we are already looking ahead to next season’s Mess-tival, which is guaranteed to be bigger and better than ever! 

For more information contact Elisa King at HIA: elisa.king@horticulture.com.au or (02) 8295 2332.