Is India’s mango market ripe for export expansion?

When you sit down with a mango-packed smoothie in the morning or a pre-cut mango salad after lunch, you might wonder what journey the fruit you’re eating has been on.

If you’re in the UK, there’s a chance it could have come from as far away as Burkina Faso or Ghana, or even the sunny climes of Brazil.

The story is the same in the US, where approximately 80% of its mangos come from its neighbour Mexico. But this might soon be changing.

The world’s largest mango producer is in fact India, with 40% of the world’s fleshy fruit originating there. The majority of its mangos currently stay within its domestic market, although the percentage leaving its shores is growing year-on-year.

A wealth of resources

As stated above, India already accounts for a large proportion of mango production worldwide, and it has managed to hold onto its market share despite growing competition from the likes of China and Brazil.

The country has more than 1,000 different varieties of the fruit – from the sweet Alphonso to juicy Raspuri – and it is grown nationwide, with many former paddy farms now home to fields of mango trees.

Unlike the likes of Brazil, where the fruit grows year-round, India’s peak season runs from April to June. But what it lacks in year-round seasonality, it makes up for in taste, with the first international shipments growing in notoriety, like that of Beaujolais nouveau ‘race’ in France.

Relaxation of restrictions

Indian mangos have been allowed to be imported into the US market since 2007, while negative PR surrounding a brief ban by the EU in 2014 seems to have been overcome. Both markets have grown rapidly in recent years, and the UK and US sit at second and fifth respectively on India’s top mango importers.

Accord to the UN’s FAO, this demand is set to grow, thanks to the continued trends for tropical fruits and a increasingly affluent population that can afford fruit with a higher price tag.

Like avocados, mangos have experienced a huge boost in demand in recent years

Improvement in infrastructure

Ultimately though, India’s mangos wouldn’t get very far if it wasn’t for the advancements in transporting perishables in recent years. As a soft fruit, mangos are extremely delicate and need extra care, especially when being shipped halfway around the world.

That is why using air freight to ship mangoes across the globe is ideal, IAG Cargo’s Constant Fresh product provides a temperature-controlled environment onboard to help optimize shelf-life and ensure the mangoes arrive in pristine condition.

This combination of vast supply, growing international demand and the availability of advanced infrastructure could just see the Indian mango hit an export sweet spot.

Find out more about IAG Cargo’s Constant Fresh product here