“Indian mangoes represent the largest future opportunity for the US market”

From Fresh Plaza | 17 October 2023

Overview of mangos from India in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on October 16, 2023.

The United States is becoming an increasingly important market. According to Kay Bee Exports CEO Kaushal Khakhar, the potential of the US is still untapped, despite Kay Bee’s growing market share in the region: “The main products that we ship to the US market are the whole pomegranates, pomegranate arils, mango, and ginger. When it comes to mango, we shipped more 1,000 tons of produce last season between the month of April and June. Indian mangoes are in high demand in the USA, thanks to the large Indian community established there who has a very strong emotional link with this origin. Ginger from Indian origin, available between the months of December to March, is also becoming more and more popular since its supply and price is more consistent and stable compared to other origins.”

mango volumes by history 7

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The fact that US produces its own pomegranates makes the competition in the market even stronger for this product, Khakhar emphasizes. “Whole pomegranates and pomegranate arils are also shipped in large quantities. Indeed, the eating quality of the Bhagwa variety grown in India is known to be superior to various other origins. Although Indian pomegranates compete against the US domestic crops as well as the South American ones, the Indian variety has the advantage to be available all year round with a consistent bright red colour, quality, and a stable price.”

When it comes to mangoes, India has to compete with South America and Australia, while also having to adhere to the mandatory processes to be able to export to the US, Khakhar explains: “Commodity-wise, India competes against different countries to export to the USA. For example, while South American mangoes are more affordable due to the transportation modes used, either via sea or roads, in comparison with Indian speciality mangoes, which are only air freighted. However, considering they are ready-to-eat and of high quality, they become a good value for money alternative.”

“On the other hand, Australian mangoes may prove more expensive because of their higher air freight rates. Irradiation being one of the mandatory steps for mangoes to be exported to the USA, India has also established irradiation centres. Our mango packhouse is conveniently located close to several such centres and international airports to ensure regulatory-compliant and fast shipments,” Khakhar explains.

“We believe that Indian mangoes represent the largest future opportunity for the US market. Although, such varieties as Alphonso, Kesar and Banganapalli are still sought after, mostly by the Indian diaspora in the USA, the largest pool of consumers remains untapped. Our objective in the coming years is to increase the awareness of the mainstream population in such varieties with an extensive marketing plan and target to more than double the volume of our 2023 shipments. To do so, we rely on our brand, Mango First, which offers high quality fruits in a premium packaging in boxes of count 4, 6 or 12.”

Kay Bee Exports is now getting ready for their ginger season, which is also being exported to the United States. “The harvest of our ginger will start in the next couple of weeks. While ginger is a relatively new addition to our portfolio, we’ve seen its demand grow over the past three years and have proportionally increased our processing capacities. Our ginger is pesticide residue free and packed in our BRC Grade A packhouse in compliance with all international standards of hygiene and ethics,” Khakhar concludes.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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