About eight years ago, Eric Nagelberg of family-owned Panorama Produce Sales Inc. in Mamaroneck, NY, surveyed the company’s list of products and thought mangos would make a good addition.
“We saw it as a crop that had a lot of room to grow,” he said. “We knew that mangos were the most popular fruit in the world, though they hadn’t gained that same popularity in the United States. But everyone said it had a lot of growth potential, so we decided to add a mango program. I started the program and received good support from the rest of the family.”
He does not regret that decision. “What everyone told us turned out to be true,” he said. “We expect to be up a little bit this year as we have been increasing our volume a little bit every year. Mangos have become a very big part of what we do.”
As he looks toward the fall, Mr. Nagelberg said that South America would be the company’s supplier of mangos for the next few months as it sources from Brazil, Ecuador and Peru in that order. Brazil shipments began in early September and will last for six to eight weeks until the end of October. Ecuador fruit will hit the Northeast in early November with the first Peruvian mangos slated for December.
“Here’s what I’ve heard,” Mr. Nagelberg said, “Brazil is going to be about the same or up a little bit. Ecuador is running a little late and Peru could have some problems. Possibly they will only have 50 percent of the volume they had last year.”
Mr. Nagelberg said that the South American production is vital to the firm’s goal of being a year-round supplier of mangos to the U.S. marketplace. He said that Panorama became a year-round supplier of mangos within a couple of years of starting the program, as it believed that was the best way to service its customers. The firm specializes in sales to the Northeast sector of the country, which is where it is located. But Mr. Nagelberg said, “We have customers in the Midwest, Southeast and Texas as well. We work with retailers and foodservice operators as well as wholesalers.”
While it’s a bit more difficult to secure a mango ad for Brazilian fruit because of its higher cost, Mr. Nagelberg said that the company does focus its effort on developing promotions. “We offer ad pricing six weeks out, and we do focus on promotions as the best way to move the crop.”