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Marketing program helps tell mango’s nutrition story to U.S. consumers

image001-2The National Mango Board has added new nutrition marketing messages to its existing industry list to strengthen the superfruit’s nutrition story, available now at www.mango.org/nutrition. This effort is part of the NMB’s nutrition outreach program, which helps spread the word about mango nutrition to U.S. consumers.

By sharing mangos' nutrition story, the NMB can attract more health-conscious U.S. consumers. In 2013 the NMB wanted to expand its strong nutrition messages beyond being an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of fiber to include more information about vitamins and nutrients. In doing so, the industry can now say one cup of mango is an excellent source of folate, a good source of vitamin B6, and mangos are a good source of copper.

The NMB also developed structure function claims to help the U.S. consumer understand what these claims mean. To help add credibility to its mango nutrition messages and spread them across the country, the NMB works with a strong Media Registered Dietician Network, which consists of several seasoned media RDs who are equipped with mango knowledge, including mango key messages, nutrition facts, recipe ideas and more to share with consumers.

This year, the NMB is working with media RDs Dawn Jackson-Blatner, Tara Gidus and Frances Largeman-Roth. These NMB nutrition ambassadors work with local and national media in their respective major markets (Chicago, Orlando, FL, and New York City) to secure media placements about the positive nutrition story behind mangos. According to the NMB’s Quarter 2 Results Tracker, the RD network garnered coverage in numerous media outlets, totaling to 337 million impressions.

In addition to reaching U.S. consumers through media, the NMB also works with retail dieticians to help educate and sell mangos to their consumers. The NMB sponsored and attended the Produce for Better Health annual conference March 13-15, where they had the opportunity to network and interact with 29 RDs from 22 different retailers. During the conference, supermarket RDs enjoyed two fresh mango dishes. In addition to the conference, the NMB also sponsored two PBH Half Your Plate sponsorships which showcased two mango recipes, Mango Berry Rotini Salad and Mango Cucumber Soup, in a one-page information sheet. The sponsorship also includes photographs of the “plates” featured on PBH’s consumer website, in education materials and in several other consumer outreach efforts.

Furthermore, the NMB promotes any new information about their ongoing nutrition research. Since 2006, the NMB has been working with nutrition researchers to better understand the nutritional benefits of mangos. Currently they have engaged researchers to conduct human studies to understand mango’s impact on colon cancer, obesity and diabetes.

“The discovery of new, positive health benefits from eating mangos could have a major impact on future mango movement,” Megan McKenna, NMB director of marketing, said in a press release. “In this age of health-conscious consumers, nutrition messages are an extremely powerful marketing tool. Combined with the delicious flavor of mangos, nutrition messages may be a big win for the mango industry.”

Recently, new mango nutrition research was presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology conference in April by researchers Edralin Lucas, Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University, and Susanne Mertens-Talcott, Ph.D., assistant professor and director for research at Institute for Obesity Research & Program Evaluation of Texas A&M University. Lucas examined the effects of daily mango consumption on clinical parameters and body composition in obese subjects and Mertens-Talcott examined the effects of polyphenols found in fresh mangos on cancerous and non-cancerous breast cells.

The NMB broadcasted the preliminary findings of these new studies through the national wire and EurekAlert!. The national wire release was picked up by the Wall Street Journal and many more. Articles about the study were written for several major online sites including MensHealth.com, Yahoo! Shine, Babble.com and Health.com with a cumulative audience of 75 million impressions. The NMB also had a radio release (EurekAlert!) distributed via Radio Health Journal for two weeks in May, which aired on over 450 radio stations across the U.S. each week. EurekAlert! is a weekly, half-hour program reporting on important issues in health and medicine with a reach that covers over 85 percent of the U.S.

In the beginning of July, the NMB also announced the preliminary findings of the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey mango research study, which linked mango consumption to better diet quality and nutrition intake in adults and children. To date, online sites such as Yahoo! Finance, Reuters, Boston.com and Los Angeles Business wrote articles based off the release. The NMB will continue to support mango nutrition studies via several outreach efforts which include press and audio news releases, as well as targeted pitching to top 25 nutrition editors and media dieticians.

More information about the NMB’s Nutrition Outreach program and related research is available at www.mango.org/industry/nutrition-research.