Exporting Mango Puree to Its Second Largest Market – The European Union

Jun 06,2017

The mango rightfully deserves its title of ‘king of the fruits’. Is it any wonder that mango and its related products are so heavily exported to the Arabian Peninsula, the European Union and North America which cannot grow it naturally? After the Arabian Peninsula, the EU is the second largest market for mango fruit puree. Estimates state that the EU accounts for 1/5th of the total mango puree imports and these figures are only expected to grow. Mango puree is a smooth, thick product that is processed in such a way that the insoluble parts of the ripe mango are broken up to fit in a fine sieve. Sometimes, pasteurisation is undertaken to increase puree shelf life. Fruit puree is able to retain all the juice and a large percentage of the fibrous content found in the fruit. The terms pulp and puree can and are used interchangeably. Concentrated mango puree used in manufacturing fruit nectar and juices is obtained by removing water physically from the puree in the quantity desired. Most single strength mango puree sold in Europe is obtained from the two South Asian countries India and Pakistan.

The Netherlands holds a major share of the EU internal import market, as it redistributes the mango puree to other countries in the European Union. Over the last few years, mango puree imports have increased in the continent in single digits. The EU mango puree imports are quite concentrated with the top three markets viz. the Netherlands, the U.K. and France accounting for a lion’s share of the imports (nearly 80%). The maximum import growth is expected to be in Belgium, France and Spain. The share of the Netherlands is anticipated to decline going forward. Two thirds of the puree is derived from India as it is the largest mango producer by a wide margin. However, the share of India shows a declining trend in the continent, with countries such as the Philippines, Brazil and China showing much higher growth rates.

The European Union hardly exports any mango puree itself and it is primarily an importer and final consumer. Due to geography, the EU member states are unable to produce mango so production data is restricted to the production of mango juice by reconstituting water from concentrated puree and by adding other juices. Most fruit juice manufacturers are based in Germany and every alternate fruit company from the EU has its base there. Mango and mango products are becoming increasingly popular across the continent. At present, Germany is the largest fruit juice consuming country. Mango is also quite popular in Portugal and Ireland.

Over the last five years, the EU has decreased its imports from India but other countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa have rushed in to fulfil the demand so the market has remained stable. Mango puree as an ingredient has noticeably increased in popularity but more so as a combination with other juices as opposed to a single-strength flavour. Most ‘multivitamin’ juices include mango puree as an ingredient along with other tropical juices and apple and citrus juices as the base. A new trend observed is a flavour combining mango juice with coconut water or the juice of aloe vera to satiate the demand for so called ‘super-food’ juices. Mango flavour also finds application in nearly all soft drink categories including flavoured water, energy drinks, carbonated drinks, tea drinks and syrups.

In the EU, most mango puree is used as an ingredient by the nectar and fruit juice industry. When it is used in a combination with other fruit juices, less than 10% is actually mango puree. However, mango puree finds application as an ingredient in desserts, ice creams, yoghurt, and in baby food. Mango puree is very rarely imported directly by fruit juice producers and they typically turn to specialist importers. These importers often play the role of fruit preparation producers as well. One of the major risks for mango puree production is a stable mango supply that can be hampered as a result of global warming and adverse weather conditions such as flash floods, droughts, tsunamis and hurricanes. For example – A drought in India in 2014 drastically impacted mango suppliers which made the prices rise. This made the EU look at alternate suppliers such as Mexico which is the main supplier to the American market.