There is no question of the popularity of mango among today's savvy consumers. Datassential reports 81 percent of consumers have tried mango before, and 79 percent say they “like” or “love” the fruit. As for their willingness to order dishes featuring mango on a menu, 82 percent of consumers say they would pay more at the promise of fresh mangos.
Flavor is the heart of the mango’s appeal, but its nutritional benefits are equally impressive. Mangos boast more than 20 vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which helps to support the body’s immune function.
Yet despite this overwhelming popularity among consumers, mangos still have unrealized potential on U.S. menus. Datassenital also reports Mango is featured on 40 percent of all restaurant menus and is predicted to have a further 8 percent growth over the coming years, outperforming 81 percent of all other foods, beverages, and ingredients.
“Mangos are both familiar to restaurant patrons yet still exotic enough to stand out as special, so leverage that unique position,” Susan Hughes, Foodservice Consultant at the National Mango Board, advises restaurant operators. “Take full advantage of the sensory attributes of mango and combine it with other ingredients, flavors, textures, and techniques for beautiful color, balanced flavor, and contrasting textures.”
Mango is available year-round, and its qualities at various stages of ripeness mean it can be used as a pantry staple in a variety of applications without increasing the kitchen’s operational complexity.
For example, a stage two mango, which is still firm to the touch, can be used for spirals, pickles, or chutney. Meanwhile, a soft stage five mango can be used in a dressing or marinade. Restaurants can also batch-prep mango at various stages to keep a steady, usable supply of each stage prepared for various menu applications.
Mango also easily pairs with trendy global flavors. Hughes notes Kitchen staff can cut mangos into pieces about the same size as pork seasoned with an Indonesian marinade, slide them onto a skewer with red bell pepper, and they are ready to grill.
Charring or grilling ripe mango can also introduce dimension to the fruit’s floral sweetness, boost visual appeal, and add flavor complexity. Shared appetizers and charcuterie boards, and refreshing beverage builds would benefit from this unexpected yet impactful example of this sophisticated flavor play.
“This superfruit can elevate any recipe and can be used in countless ways,” says Hughes. “Whether blended, grilled, pureed, or sliced fresh, mangos are full of flavorful potential for restaurants.”
For more ideas on how to add mango to the menu, visit the National Mango Board website.