Honey Gold mangoes are continuing to gain traction in the Australian market, with the variety now entrenched as one of the country’s four main varieties, according to Piñata Farms managing director, Gavin Scurr.
Around 600,000 trays of Honey Gold have been sold to date making the 2014/15 crop a record for Australian producers. Scurr said this represented 7 per cent of Australia’s total mango production by volume and about 9 per cent by value, with Honey Gold now “nudging” Kensington Pride, R2E2 and Calypso mangoes for market share.
“We are progressively making inroads into the premium mango market, with Honey Gold mangoes having now overtaken the Keitt variety,” he explained. “We had a bigger volume of fruit this season because trees in some of our growing regions reached full production for the first time.”
Scurr said marketing by variety is helping to ramp-up demand for the Honey Gold variety. “While some consumers don't differentiate between mango varieties, a learning for us has been that you have to have a critical mass for your product to be noticed,” Scurr said. “Consumers are beginning to see there is value in paying more for premium fruit.”
Piñata Farms, in conjunction with 30 third party growers, produces Honey Gold mangoes in five mainland states. Harvesting begins in the Northern Territory in November, followed by Queensland and Western Australia. Small volumes continue to trickle through from late-season New South Wales and Victorian crops, although harvest is expected to finish this week.
“The season started a little later than usual but was otherwise ideal for mango production,” Scurr explained. “Although Cyclone Marcia hit our Yeppoon and Rockhampton growing regions after picking had finished, our growers had already pruned trees which prevented long-term damage. We're confident with good growing practices there won't be an impact on next season's crop.”
A small volume of Honey Gold was exported to New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong this year, with Piñata Farms hoping to build on this in coming seasons.