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Mangoes, avocados show local popularity in Miami

Despite steadily climbing sales and demand, two favorites are still going strong and experiencing growth: avocados and mangoes.

The allure of avocados remains robust, garnering attention across the country. Fortunately, the Miami region is home to more than 56 varieties of the fruit.

Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals LLC, Homestead, FL, sees Brooks’ own variety, the SlimCado, as “an important player in the avocado market.” The variety has “naturally less fat and fewer calories than the Hass avocado, and has a lighter, sometimes nuttier taste that’s perfect for salads or toast.”

For Jalaram Produce, the family-run company’s most exciting news is the development of a year-round mango program.

“Within our clientele, there’s a huge demand for mangoes, so we’re working on being able to have the ripe mangos our customers love all year,” says Cruz Castillo, salesman for Jalaram Produce Inc., Homestead, FL.

Of course, filling supply gaps throughout the year can be difficult, especially for the green-skinned Keitt mango. This particular favorite has roots in both India and Florida: it’s a seedling from an Indian variety, originally planted in 1939 in Homestead by none other than Mrs. Keitt herself, who then lent the sweet fruit her name.

According to Castillo, Jalaram Produce turns to Mexican growers from mid-February to mid-August for part of its supply.

The company also found excellent quality Keitt mangoes in Peru, and is planning to import from Ecuador too. Castillo can’t underscore the popularity in Asian and Indian markets enough: “if they’re green, they sell.”

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full article.