The European market potential for dried mango
In the medium to long term, the European market for dried mangoes is expected to show a stable volume growth of 5–6% per year. This growth is likely to be driven by changes in the consumption patterns of European consumers, including the rising demand for healthier snacking options and a decrease in the consumption of snacks containing sugar. The United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy offer the best opportunities for suppliers from developing countries.
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1. Product description
Dried mangoes are prepared from sound and mature ripe fruit of varieties of Mangifera spp., processed by drying. Mango can be dried by the sun or by other recognized methods of dehydration (e.g. tunnel drying).
Depending on product specifications, dried mangoes can be produced as either natural or sweetened. These categories contain additional sub-categories, including according to type of cut (e.g. cubes, slices, cheeks), use of preservatives (sulphites), and processing method.
- Natural (or conventional) dried mangoes are produced without additional sugar This type accounts for the majority of the sales in Europe. They are often produced with the addition of sulphites as a preservative to prolong shelf life and retain their intensely bright yellow colour. Sulphites cannot be used for dried mangoes that are produced as organic.
- Organic dried mangoes are produced from mango fruit that has been grown without fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides.
- Sweetened dried mangoes are produced with added sugar. They are not sold in Europe in large quantities, as customers are more health conscious and have been switching from sugar-infused to more natural dried mangoes. Sweetened mangoes account for most retail sales in Asia. The typical amount of sugar in dried mangoes is around 10%. This product should not be confused with candied mangoes, in which fruit cuts are preserved by sugar. This is a completely different type of product (candied fruit), with a sugar content of 50–70%. Candied fruit is not discussed further in this study.
Dried mangoes are used at home (e.g. as a snack or cooking ingredient), out of the home (e.g. in hotels, restaurants and other places) and in the food industry (e.g. in bakery and confectionery products or in breakfast cereal mixtures). Dried mangoes for snacking are usually sold in plastic bags or pouches, and they are eaten as a healthy substitute for sweets, chocolate or crisps. This market is still developing, as the habit of eating dried mangoes as a snack is still relatively unknown in Europe. In addition, dried mangoes are relatively expensive in comparison to other dried fruits. Dried mangoes that are used as an ingredient in the food-processing industry are usually in the form of slices, chunks, diced pieces or granules. They are used as a sugar substitute and as a healthy seasoning.
This study covers general information regarding the market for dried mangoes in Europe that could be of interest to producers in developing countries. In this study, ‘Europe’ refers to the 27 member states of the European Union, the United Kingdom (the UK), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
No specific statistical international trade code (HS code) is available for dried mangoes. This means that there are no detailed statistics on the import of dried mangoes to Europe. Dried mangoes are statistically defined in the same group as fresh products, under the code 08045000 (Fresh or dried guavas, mangoes and mangosteens). The quantitative data presented in this study are therefore based on industry estimations.
2. What makes Europe an interesting market for dried mangoes?
According to industry estimates, the quantity of imported dried mangoes reached 6,000–7,000 tonnes in 2021. It is estimated that conventional dried mangoes account for around 70% (about 4,200–4,900 tonnes), organic dried mangoes for around 25% (1,500–1,800 tonnes) and sweetened dried mangoes for the remaining 5% (300–350 tonnes). The demand for dried mangoes increased during the pandemic, due to an overall increase in the demand for healthy snacks. Due to climate issues that impacted crops in West Africa and Mexico, 2021 was a difficult year for mango harvests.
Virtually all imports from outside Europe come from developing countries. Some internal European trade consists of simple re-exporting of imported dried mangoes, but a significant part consists of added-value trade, including operations (e.g. retail packing) and the usage of dried mangoes as an ingredient in various products (e.g. dried fruit mixtures, breakfast cereals, tea mixes and fruit bars).
In the coming years, the European market for dried mangoes is anticipated to have a stable volume increase of 5–6% annually. The main drivers behind the forecast growth are the healthy-snacking trend, new product launches containing dried mangoes and the general popularity of the mango flavour. It is estimated that, in the long-term, the share of organic mangoes in the European market will increase, especially following the intensive investments in the dried mango industry in Burkina Faso. This estimate may change, however, due to the high inflation (over 10%) in the Eurozone. Some suppliers report that, in 2022, there was a visible decline in organic dried mango orders from retail chains for the following year, due to concerns about inflation.
3. Which European countries offer the most opportunities for dried mangoes?
As Europe’s main importers of dried mangoes, the United Kingdom and Germany are interesting markets for suppliers from developing countries. Both of these countries have large markets that show dynamic growth. Switzerland and the Netherlands are important trade hubs for the re-export of dried mangoes to other European countries. Other interesting markets include France and Italy, although the Southern European countries are not growing as fast as the Northern countries, due to stronger traditions of consuming fresh rather than dried fruit. The Scandinavian market is also showing growth in demand. A focus on consumer demand for healthy snacks with natural ingredients (like certified organic dried mango) will open up many opportunities for exporters. In addition, demand appears to be increasing for Fairtrade-certified dried mangoes.Source: Autentika Global based on industry estimations
Germany: a large and growing market
Together with the United Kingdom, Germany represents half of the European market for dried mango. Germany is the largest market, and it is growing rapidly. It is estimated that German imports in 2020 exceeded those of the UK, which was traditionally been the largest market for dried mangoes in Europe. Until a few years ago, dried mangoes were sold primarily in specialized stores. They are now sold in mainstream supermarkets as well, including such new discounters as Aldi and Lidl. German dried-mango sales are forecast to continue growing.
Although there are no exact data, it is estimated that more than 70% of all dried mangoes in Germany are of Burkinabé origin, followed by South Africa. Imports from other destinations are relatively small, with Ghana estimated as the third largest supplier, followed by India and Thailand, with relatively small quantities coming from South America (mostly Peru) and the Philippines. Dried mangoes from South America are presently estimated at less than a 2% share, with Peru as the dominant supplier, and additional small quantities coming from Mexico and Ecuador.
In November 2021, officials from the main German development agency (GiZ) visited several mango growers in Cambodia. They were searching for potential suppliers of fresh and dried mangoes for export to Germany and Europe.
Germany is a particularly attractive market for organic dried mangoes, as the country is the largest European market for organic food. In addition, sales of sugar-free and preservative-free dried mangoes are increasing. One market segment that provides specific opportunities for suppliers of dried mangoes is the fruit bar segment. The number of launches of fruit bars and similar snacks containing dried mangoes is increasing. Examples include Yammbits, Lubs, Alnatura and DM. It is important to note, however, that some fruit bars containing mangoes are produced from mango purees, and not from dried mangoes.
In Germany, significant quantities of mangoes are sold under private labels. These labels include Alesto Fine (by discounter chain Lidl), Rewe Beste Wahl (by REWE) and Edeka (by Edeka). Examples of independent German brands of dried mangoes include Seeberger, Farmer’s Snack, Kluth, Marsch and Welt Partner. A large share of organic dried mangoes are sold under the private label brands of specialized organic retailers, such as Denn’s, DM and Alnatura. There are also independent organic brands, such as Rapunzel, Clasen Bio, Keimling, Morgenland and KoRo.
Sustainable sourcing has become very important to German importers of dried mangoes. For example, the German organic food company Rapunzel has developed its own fair-trade programme and certification known as ‘hand in hand’. This certification guarantees fair prices, good working conditions, social security and transparency for suppliers. Burkinature, a dried-mango processor from Burkina Faso, has benefited from this programme and has become a direct supplier to Rapunzel. The company offers better salaries to workers in mango-processing units and supports various community projects.
In addition to snacks and the aforementioned fruit bars, dried mangoes are an important ingredient in breakfast-cereal mixtures. The usage of candied mangoes in breakfast cereals is more common than the use of natural dried mangoes. It is nevertheless expected that the use of dried fruit with no added sugar in breakfast cereals will overtake the use of sugar-infused fruit in the near future.
The United Kingdom: the first market for dried mangoes in Europe
The UK was the first market in Europe to develop a significant consumption of dried mangoes. The largest share of the imported quantity is consumed within the country, as less than 10% is re-exported. Total consumption is estimated to be around 1,200 tonnes. Approximately 80% of imported dried mangoes are sold in the form of retail snacks, while the remaining 20% are consumed either as a part of dried-fruit mixtures or as an ingredient in other products. The UK import market for dried mangoes is quite concentrated, with a relatively small number of regular importers.
The leading suppliers of dried mangoes to the UK are Burkina Faso, South Africa, Ghana and the Philippines. The UK is also a relatively large consumer of sweetened dried mangoes, most of which are imported from Thailand. A specific characteristic of the market in the UK is the popularity of the carabao mango variety from the Philippines. While other European markets predominantly use other varieties of dried mangoes (such as Kent, Keitt, and Tommy Atkins), companies in the UK perceive the carabao variety to be superior compared to others, and they sell it for higher prices.
The large market shares are captured by private labels of retail chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Morrisons, and ALDI (the Foodie market brand). One leading independent brand is Whitworths. Other independent brands include Forest Feast (brand by Kestrel Foods), Urban Fruit, Wholefoods and Crazy Jack. Dried mangoes are being increasingly used as an ingredient in fruit and cereal bars. Examples include Get Fruity, Bear (by Urban Fresh Foods – a subsidiary of Belgian Lotus Bakeries), Traidcraft (Fairtrade certified) and the Food Doctor.
The market in the UK offers specific opportunities for suppliers of Fairtrade-certified dried mangoes, as the country is home to one of Europe’s largest markets for Fairtrade products. Around 5,000 Fairtrade-certified products are currently being sold in the UK. Fairtrade sales in the UK have been exhibiting double-digit growth recently. Examples of Fairtrade companies active in the UK dried-mango sector include Cocoa Loco (a chocolate producer) and Fullwell Mill (a producer of speciality bars and owner of the brand Tropical Wholefoods).
France: a fast-growing and ethically aware market
France is one of the fastest-growing markets for dried mangoes, with an estimated growth rate of 15% per year over the past five years. France is a particularly attractive market for French-speaking suppliers of dried mangoes from West Africa (such as Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast).
Leading independent private brands include Brousse Vergez and Maître Prunille. Foreign dried-mango brands are also competing with local brands, including the German ‘Seeberger’ and the Italian ‘Noberasco’. Brands that are strong in the organic segment include Bio Day, Juste Bio and Daco Bello. Dried organic mangoes are increasingly being used in breakfast cereal, although some producers use tropical fruit from freeze-dried purees instead of from dried fruit.
Dried mangoes are also sold in French supermarkets unbranded, per weight or in simple transparent retailer packaging. In addition, dried mangoes are often sold in mixtures with other dried fruit and nuts. All supermarket brands (private labels) in France have started to use Nutri-Score to label dried mangoes. In most cases, dried mangoes are labelled ‘C’, meaning that they have an average nutritional value.
Many dried mangoes are imported to France through the Netherlands or the United Kingdom, although increasing numbers of companies are sourcing directly from producing countries. These companies are investing in ethical sourcing and trying to help local communities in developing countries. Examples include Agro Sourcing, Ethiquable, Pepite, Ethik Essence and Solidar Monde.
Netherlands: the trade hub
In terms of imported quantities, the Netherlands is estimated to be Europe’s third-largest importer of dried mangoes, although it re-exports large quantities to other European destinations. Current domestic consumption is estimated to be around 350–400 tonnes per year. This makes the Netherlands the fourth-largest consumer of dried mangoes in Europe, after Germany, the UK and France. The leading supplier to the Netherlands is Burkina Faso, but Dutch importers source dried mangoes from many different destinations, including Gambia, Mozambique, Thailand, the Philippines and other emerging suppliers.
The growing consumption of dried mangoes in the Netherlands is driven by the healthy-snacking trend, as well as by the popularity of ‘exotic’ flavours. Apart from snacking, dried mangoes are increasingly being used as an ingredient in fruit bars, bakery and confectionery products, and breakfast cereals. The Netherlands is characterized by a high import share for sugar-infused dried mangoes, especially from Thailand. This share is expected to decrease, while the share of products with no added sugar will increase.
A large share of the dried mangoes traded in the Netherlands are sold under the private labels of supermarkets such as Albert Heijn (AH and AH Bio labels) and Jumbo (Jumbo label), or of discounters such as Lidl (Alesto Bio label), as well as in retail health shops such as Holland & Barrett. The import volume of organic dried mangoes in the Netherlands is relatively high and is led by one of the largest European specialized organic importers, Tradin Organic. This company sources organic dried mangoes from several origins, including Mexico, The Gambia and Burkina Faso. In Burkina Faso, Tradin Organic has been working with a local drying facility to produce organic dried mangoes.
Switzerland: processing and trading country
Although its consumption is small, Switzerland is home to several very large trading and processing companies, which together sell around one quarter of all dried mangoes in Europe. Switzerland is particularly attractive for trading organic dried mangoes. The Swiss company HPW has its own mango-processing facilities in Ghana and Ivory Coast, making them one of the largest suppliers of dried mangoes from Africa. Because the HPW company headquarters are in Switzerland, some trade is performed through that country, making it an important trade hub. Another important Swiss company is Gebana, which also trades and produces dried mangoes in Africa (Burkina Faso).
In Switzerland, a significant share of dried mangoes is sold under private labels through such leading retail chains as Coop (Coop naturaplan label) and Migros (Sun Quin, Migros Selection, and Migros Bio labels). A smaller share is sold under independent brands (e.g. German Seeberger). HPW has developed and launched fruit bars and fruit rolls based on dried mangoes.
Italy: Growing imports and re-exports
Italy is increasing its imports of dried mangoes, where they are consumed primarily as a snack. Sales are dominated by supermarket private labels, such as Coop, Conad and Carrefour. One very popular way to sell dried fruit is in small discount packages of €1 per package (for 100 g of dried fruit). The leading independent brand is Noberasco, but there are other brands, including Semplicemente frutta (by Euro company) and Life. The leading Italian organic brand, which also sells dried mangoes, is Almaverde Bio.
In Italy, local consumption of dried mangoes is estimated to be around 300 tonnes. Significant quantities of imported dried mangoes are exported to other European countries. These re-exports are led by the presence of strong brands (e.g. Noberasco) in other European countries, as well as by the presence of strong Italian traders (e.g. Besana).
Some companies in Italy have been participating in the Postmango Project to experiment with the best method for dehydrating Sicilian mangoes. These companies are aiming to retain the high nutritional value, appearance, smell and pleasant taste of these mangoes.
- Find German traders of dried mangoes on the websites of the specialized German Association Waren-Verein and in the German company directory Wer liefert was.
- Stay abreast of the market for dried mangoes in the United Kingdom at the National Dried Fruit Trade Association UK.
- Consider obtaining Fairtrade certification to enter the United Kingdom market or organic certification for easier penetration into the German market.
- Contact the French association for research in the fruit and vegetable sector (CTIFL) to learn more about the French market.
- Approach relevant associations, including Nederlandse Zuidvruchten Vereniging in the Netherlands to identify the most suitable importers for dried mangoes.
- Stay current by following news from the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture.
- Identify the most suitable brokers or specialized traders who can help exporters from developing countries introduce dried mangoes to Italy.
- Follow FRUCOM, as its members include national associations in EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom). FRUCOM is officially recognized by the European Institutions as the representative body for European traders in dried fruit and nuts, processed seafood, and processed fruit and vegetables.
4. Which trends offer opportunities or pose threats on the European market for dried mangoes?
The growing interest in dried mangoes among European consumers is being driven by an increasing demand for healthy snacking, combined with product innovation. Sustainable and ethical production is also becoming an important aspect for European traders and consumers.
One major trend that is in line with increased consumption of dried mangoes is healthy snacking. Consumers are searching for healthier alternatives for snacking between meals or for snacks that can replace meals. Young consumers who are taking better care of their general health and wellness no longer favour savoury snacks (e.g. potato chips or other crisps). Growing consumer interest in plant-based diets is driving the demand for dried fruit, including mangoes.
Consumers are increasingly looking for flexible, light and convenient snacking options that they can eat on the go. According to a study by IRI, analysis of six markets – the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands – indicates that consumers are opting for healthier or lighter products. With their busy lifestyles, European consumers are replacing traditional lunch breaks with healthy snacking moments. According to Innova Market Insights, 63% of all consumers born after 2000 are replacing meals with snacks because they are busy.
Consumers in Europe are also becoming more interested in clean-label products. This is due to a rising awareness of health. ‘Clean’ means that no additives are used during the production process. Popular label descriptions for dried-mango packs include organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, ‘nothing added’ and 100% fruit. One new trend is the production of additive-free dried mangoes. The main additives used to preserve the intense original fruit colour are sulphites. Producers that do not apply sulphites often use the claim ‘sulphur-free’. The problem connected with ‘sulphur-free’ products is the darkening of the fruit, which makes it less appealing to consumers.
According to Innova Market Insights, sharp growth occurred in ‘low sugar’, ‘sugar-free’ and ‘no added sugar’ labels, driven by the significant rise in natural fruit snacks.
Mango is a popular exotic flavour
Mango is a very popular flavour, especially among younger consumers. According to Innova Market Insight, global product launches incorporating mango flavours have increased by 240% in the past 10 years. In Europe, consumers like exotic tastes but, according to Food Navigator, ‘not too exotic’. Mango fits perfectly into this category, and several ingredient suppliers predict further growth for mango products. For consumers, it is very important for dried mangoes to have a taste similar to that of fresh mangoes.
Innovative processing technologies and products
Freeze-drying technology, consumption of fruit and bars, new breakfast options and innovative snacking products are some of the main influences on the market for dried mangoes.
- Freeze-dried mangoes: Examples include Lolo snacks (Hungary), Nutripur (Germany) and Giving Tree (the United Kingdom).
- Soft dried mangoes: Producers are using rehydration (similar to the prune-production process) to increase water content in some types of dried mangoes to make them easier to chew. Examples: Frubis soft dried mangoes (Portugal), Seeberger soft mangoes and Rapunzel organic soft dried mangoes (Germany).
- Fruit bars with tropical fruit: Across Europe, the popularity of fruit bars has increased in recent years. The main reason is the natural sweetener function of dried fruit, which makes it possible to make sweet products without adding sugar. Dried mango is a popular flavour in fruit bars, as it provides a harmonious ratio between sweetness and acidity. Examples: Purafruta mango bars (Switzerland) and MÄT organic mango bars for children (Denmark). Purafruta is an example of a collaboration with a company from a developing country that successfully tapped into this trend. The Swiss company Fruit Group AG, in collaboration with the Colombian manufacturing and marketing company Prime Foods, launched dried-mango snack bars without additives to the European market in 2018. The bars are made from pure fruit, without added sugar, flavour enhancers or additives. To cover the entire European market, the information on the product packaging is presented in German, English and French.
- Fruit rolls, sticks and balls: These innovative fruit snacks are made by rehydrating fruit purees. Mango flavours are popular, including such examples as Tropicks (Switzerland), Allos (Germany), Bear (United Kingdom) and Sunvita (Hungary).
- Fruit chips: New forms of crispy snacks are appearing on the market. Example: NSI mango chips.
- Breakfast cereals: Examples include Marks & Spencer (the United Kingdom) and My Muesli (Germany).
Sustainability and ethical production
Exports of dried mangoes have improved the livelihoods of many farmers in developing countries. This is because farmers can produce dried mangoes instead of having to throw away overripe mangoes each season. In addition, several sustainability initiatives are being implemented in countries that produce dried mangoes.
Some companies that focus on ethical production source their products from specific countries and through projects in those country. Some have partnerships with companies from the sourcing country. One example of a European company that works like this is HPW, from Switzerland. This company sells a range of dried mango products from Ghana in several European countries (for example, in the Netherlands). More information on sustainable and ethical production trends is provided in the CBI study on trends in processed fruit and vegetables.
- Promote the various applications and nutritional properties of dried mangoes. In doing so, avoid health or nutritional claims that are not substantiated by scientific evidence (nutritional analysis, in case of nutritional claims). Consult the INC Health Research Database of INC to find studies that have been published in scientific journals.
- Read the CBI Market Statistics and Outlook on Processed Fruit & Vegetables study to learn more about general trade trends and the size of the specific market segments.
- Visit the websites of trade shows and exhibitions to discover the newest trends. The most important trade fairs in Europe relevant to dried mangoes are SIAL (France, even-numbered years in October), ANUGA (Germany, odd-numbered years in October) and BioFach (Germany, organic products, every year in February).
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