AMIA will be shining the spotlight on mango quality this season. Consumer research that has been undertaken by the industry clearly shows that quality is the main influence on people’s decision to buy mangoes and that questionable quality will effect demand and pricing. To increase profits for all growers across Australia, we need to consistently produce mangoes that people want to buy, love to eat and cannot get enough of.
So, what is it that consumers want when it comes to mangoes?
Consumers want their mangoes to be juicy and sweet. They LOVE their mangoes and expect them to have a deep orange flesh colour, an aromatic back taste and that unique, distinctive mango flavour.
Initially, looks are everything. Choosing a mango is a sensory experience. People buy with their eyes, nose, and hands, looking for fruit with a variegated colour that is yellowy / orange with some blush, a distinctive mango aroma and a mango that feels firm without being hard or soft. Most people enjoy eating their mangoes as a whole piece of fruit. They consider the eating experience to be a special and indulgent moment, and how the mango looks is a significant part of that experience.
Consumers will buy almost any mango at the right price. They will tolerate most blemishes that effect the skin, as they know they don’t effect the eating experience, but the more blemish, the less they will spend. Consumers won’t buy fruit that has disease or rot, not at any price.
Ok, so now we know what consumers want, what happens when they don’t get what they want?
Most people have anticipated the moment when they’ll bite into their mango. There is a sense of excitement and a clear expectation, and the single biggest disappointment is when they bite into a mango and it doesn’t have the intense, distinctive mango flavour that they were looking for.
Then two things will happen:
Their disappointment stops them buying mangoes for a period of time, often up to six weeks, and that’s a long time in a short mango season.
Then, they will almost certainly share their experience with a friend and, with the help of facebook, a lot of friends, who may potentially stop buying mangoes themselves.
With early indications pointing to a large crop this season, producing and delivering high quality mangoes will be essential to maintaining strong demand throughout the season.