Race for the King

Gold prices are passé. Come summer, all the drama shifts to the mango price index.

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April and May are the months for mango madness in India. Mango fever is everywhere – from billboards and television, to your local baniya and supermarkets – there is no escaping this sweet, delicious, golden-yellow fruit.

Did you know that mango has been cultivated in India for over 4,000 years? The fruit was a favourite amongst royalty, long before Katrina Kaif made it all the rage. However, in the past, only the royals could afford it and the mango got its now popular moniker ‘The King of Fruits’.

It’s no wonder that the mango is a status symbol in most households, where everything from getting the very first mangoes of the season, to the best quality mangoes, to the most cost-effective mango purchases deserves bragging rights.

Purchasing mangoes

While getting the best mangoes of the season, at the best rates, is a matter of pride, it’s not as easy as it seems. Some research needs to go into it. Know the various varieties of mangoes out there. The cost of mangoes depends on many factors, mainly its variety and size.

The most popular variety of mangoes is the Alphonso. Over the years, the alphonso has cost anywhere between ₹1,000 to ₹2,000 a dozen retail, depending on its size and where it comes from. The cost usually varies drastically from year to year, and also within the same year, from seller to seller, depending on the quality and variety of the mango.

The sooner you want to get your hands on the mangoes, the more it is going to cost you. It is all a game of demand and supply. At the start of the season, the supply of mangoes is low, hence they cost more. Later, as the supply goes up, the price goes down and you would probably find the fruit selling at ₹500 a dozen.

Another thing you need to be aware of when it comes to mangoes is whether they have been artificially or naturally ripened. Most sellers will claim that the mango has been ripened naturally, and hence costs more.

There are simple tell-tale signs to determine whether a mango has been artificially or naturally ripened:
•Taste: Artificially ripened mangoes will have a slightly sour tinge.
•Colour: Instead of a blend of yellow and green, artificially ripened mangoes will have green patches.
•Juice: Naturally ripened mangoes will secrete juice when cut.

The mango internationally

If you thought that Indians are the only ones who go ga-ga over the mango, think again. The mango is popular and loved all over the world and even in the animal kingdom.

75% of the world’s mangoes are exported by India. Indian mangoes travel to most of Asia, the European Union, etc. Travellers also carry packets of frozen mango pulp so it will last longer. In fact, the biggest testament to the world’s love for mangoes is that even after a ban on Indian mangoes by the EU in 2015 after the sighting of fruit flies in the consignment, the enthusiasm for Indian mangoes internationally did not die down. The ban was of course lifted seven months ago.

What to expect in 2017?

2017 is a great year to get on the mango bandwagon, if you haven’t already. The price of mangoes is cheaper this year, than last year, thanks to a steady monsoon and better harvest. As the season progresses, the prices are expected to come down to very affordable rates.

So make a run to the market before the best ones are gone. On your marks, get set, MANGO!!!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are for informational purposes only. The authors and publishers are not responsible or liable in any manner for any actions you might take relying on the contents of this article.


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