Sweet Profits: Florida Mangoes Selling High

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Mangos

Various research and faculty researchers at TREC on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018.
UF/IFAS photo.

By Clint Thompson

Florida mango production has a benefit that other countries lack and is a big reason the industry is enticing for potential producers.

Jonathan Crane, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor and tropical fruit crop specialist, highlighted how domestically produced mangoes are selling high when compared to mangoes that are imported into the U.S.

“In order to ship mangoes to the U.S. from Mexico, Brazil, I don’t care where you’re coming from, they either have to be eradiated or hot water treated or both to disinfest them from any insects before they can enter the U.S. That lowers the quality of the fruit,” Crane said. “Next time you go to the store and see mangoes from another country, most of the time they have no smell. If you pick up a mango that has never been quarantined treated, it smells really nice. (That whole process) wrecks the aroma.

“If you really want high quality mango, you’ve got to have fresh mango which has not been treated like that; that means mangoes produced in Florida. There’s a market for that.”

It is not just a market, it is a high-end market where consumers are willing and able to pay top dollar, and maybe more, for the tropical fruit. The Mango Factory is a mango farm located in Bokeelia, Florida. One box of 5 to 6 mangoes sells for $65, while a large box of 7 to 9 mangoes sells for $75.

“This is high end stuff. They’re selling online or to specialty markets where people don’t care about the price. They just want the fruit. It’s a totally different market scheme,” Crane said.