Mango is already one of the most popular tropical fruits. Global product launches incorporating mango flavours have increased by 240% over the last ten years, according to Innova Market Insights.
But Esarom believes there is still room to grow – boldly predicting that 2018 will be “the year of the mango”.
Esarom, which is launching a new portfolio of mango flavours, expects the pace of innovation around mango flavours will pick-up. According to Susanne Winter, marketing manager at Esarom, this is because mango is able to straddle the line between familiar and exotic, mainstream and mysterious.
“Globally seen, people like exotic tastes, but not too exotic ones. Mango is well known, it is not necessary to explain. This makes it easier for the [food and beverage] producers,” Winter told FoodNavigator.
However, mango remains a taste of the unusual for many European consumers. “In order to find new taste experiences Europeans look to Asian countries, also to the Middle East, where mango is used very often in the kitchen – in both sweet and savoury or spicy applications. Mango will play an important role the coming years,” she predicted.
Where’s the potential?
Esarom has seen a jump in interest around certain applications. In particular, non alcoholic beverages are proving popular.
“We have seen interest in juice, low juice drinks [consisting of] up to 20% juice content but also flavoured energy drinks, ready to drink tea drinks (with black tea or green tea), flavoured water, vitamin water,” noted Isolde Tomann, senior flavourist at Esarom and head of Esarom flavour creation.
Tomann believes that there is a significant opportunity to re-purpose the familiar mango with flavour pairings that drive excitement. In particular, she suggested, flavour combinations with fruits, herbs and spices have particular resonance.
“What about mango-cherry? An exotic and a local fruit (if we think about Europe). Mango-cherry is glocal. [You could also look at] mango-apple or mango-grape. Mango-mint, mango-chilli, mango-ginger [or] mango-kurkuma. Think of kurkuma-latte, golden milk – from dairy or hot drinks to cool refreshing drinks. Mango-orange is well known when we think about smoothies, but it could be mango and blood orange,” she enthused.
The exotic-yet-familiar appeal of mango means it works well for products that want to deliver a new take on traditional products, Tomann told FoodNavigator.
“We try to create classics with a trendy twist. Product concepts that... let the consumer say ‘interesting, let’s try it’. When they are tasty, the consumer says ‘I like it and I will buy it again’. Our focus is on trendy products with mainstream potential. This makes our customers successful.”
Tell the story
In particular, the “story” that mango flavours can tell provides it with a unique selling point for consumers, making the mango taste “interesting” to shoppers and opening up “a lot of possibilities” for producers.
By drilling down into the different mango varieties available around the world, product developers can build connections and combinations that are unique and compelling, Winter, Esarom’s marketing expert, suggested.
This is supported by the group’s technical expertise, Tomann added.
“Our flavourists created different types of mango flavours: Alphonso, the mango of India; Nam dok mai, the mango of Thailand; Haden, the mango of Mexico and the American continent.
“This follows the trend to diversify the flavours more exactly. For example, when we look at apple: yesterday it was just apple, maybe green or red apple, sweet or sour apple. Today we talk about Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Granny Smith. apple juice is normal to the consumer. Pink Lady apple juice is interesting to the consumer and there could be story telling.”
Winter believes that mango offers the same opportunity to tell the story of the ingredient. “Tell consumers about the different types, about the rituals. [For example] to give someone a basket with mangoes is a sign of friendship,” she noted.