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Vision Import Group anticipates a strong fall market

As the Mexican mango deal was winding down in early September, Ronnie Cohen of the Vision Import Group in River Edge, NJ, saw a strong mango market ahead for the fall deal, which features South America fruit.

“Brazil was supposed to be early, but that didn’t really happen,” he said on the first day of September. “Over the next couple of months, I see good marketing opportunities with a decent transition between areas.”

Vision will be importing from Brazil until mid-October. In the early part of that month, the company’s imported mango volume will begin to switch to Ecuador, with the first shipments landing on the West Coast while Brazilian mangos continue to dominate sales on the Eastern Seaboard. Mr. Cohen, the firm’s vice president of sales, said that by the end of October, Ecuadorian fruit will be coming into both coasts. “During the fall, I expect a good market in the mid- $6 range to $7.50 with an average of about $7.”

The newest wrinkle in Vision’s fall mango program is that the company is test marketing a new carton from Brazil. “We’ve changed the footprint a little bit to accommodate the retail trade,” said Mr. Cohen. “The new trial footprint carton fits on a standard 40- by 48-inch pallet and is a 14-down configuration that is stacked 21-cartons high.”

Besides being shipped on the more-popular grocery pallet, Mr. Cohen said that the configuration allows for about 15 percent more cartons per pallet, which equates to a more-efficient load when hauling. The traditional carton and pallet being shipped out of Brazil yields 252 cartons per pallet, according to Mr. Cohen.

The new footprint and pallet hold 294 mango cartons. “We are doing it on an experimental basis this year to see how it works out,” he said. “If it works, maybe we will be able to get the South American mango industry to transition to this carton. The industry would love to have a common footprint for all mango cartons.”

Since its inception several years ago, Vision has been on a steep growth curve, and recently the firm expanded its sales staff by hiring Scott Canneto. “Most recently he was with the Spanish company Iber Trade, selling clementines and lemons. Those are the categories he is going to manage for us, but he will also help out on sales of mangos and our other items. Scott is a well-seasoned veteran with good retail background and a good knowledge of f.o.b. sales. He has been with us about a month and it has been working out very well.”