I’m wondering if there is some price gouging going on with regard to mangoes. 2017-2018 has been reported as a bumper season (for example see http://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/mangoes-queensland-bumber-mango-season-to-last-well-into-2018/news-story/f017788a6347bf21bacacb7325c9aeff ) and yet we are paying the same prices as last year, and sometimes more in the ACT region and surrounding NSW. I hear from Queensland contacts that they are able to buy mangoes for around $1 each. In my region the lowest prices are between $2-$2.50 each and trays of 16 are around $32 - $38 even at fresh food markets. Any idea what is going on?
Maybe it is the supermarkets ripping customers off? Prices of up to $4 ea for R2E2 (my fav!) over summer are even higher than last year, and the local supermarkets don’t seem to have trays any more, which was how I preferred to buy them as it saved a bit, as I like to eat lots of mangoes
In Brisbane, individual mangoes at local green grocers have been as cheap as $0.99 for a medium sized one to about $1.50 for a large one. Our local Woollies have been about $1.50 to $2.00 for medium to large one, slightly more expensive than the independent stores.
It is also generally cheaper to buy by the mango tray which have about 8-12 large mangoes or 14-18 smaller mangoes. These have been as cheap as $8.00 per tray but were around $12-18 for most of the season’s peak. Here is an example of a tray price in Brisbane.
I expect that the transport cost to get mangoes from north and central Queensland to Brisbane would be cheaper than to southern states. Mangoes are also grown in /NT (inc. Ord River)/noth WA. The other consideration is that in Brisbane, there are market gardeners (Northern Rivers NSW and SE Qld coastal areas) who also supply locally at very cheap prices providing competition to the north QLD ones. This may place downward pressure on prices. Same doesn’t exist in southern states as mangoes can’t be locally grown commercially, due to climatic conditions.
I regularly buy Mangoes (around 25 a week) at a number of places, these include Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, IGA, Markets, Road side stalls and a number of green grocers. I will not pay more than $2.50 per mango regardless of variety. Trays of KP, Honeygold, R2E2, Keitt, Calypso have ranged between $7 and $24 over the season, and as trays they are generally only bought from Markets, Road Side and Green grocers. I have not seen tray sales at the Supermarkets in a few years, as I think they are profit driven to sell as single or twin items. Last tray purchase for us was this week of a 20 count Keitt tray (Keitt tend to be small/medium sized fruit) for $10 at Blunder Road Country Markets, Blunder Road, Oxley, Brisbane. Last single/twin purchase this week was a 2 Honeygold for $4.50 deal (total of 8 large mangoes) at Coles, Redbank Plains, Ipswich.
Prices here in the Brisbane area have not been above $3 each generally and as low as $0.75, though I am sure some have been higher but not at any of the stores we frequent.
In early December we found one greengrocer here on the Gold Coast selling full trays of BIG mangoes (starting at about 10/tray) for $10-20 per tray, depending on quality.
Generally they seem to be about $2-$3 per mango if bought from Woolies, Coles, Aldi, or most grocers.
Believe it or not, down here in the ACT and NSW the supermarkets have had some of the lowest prices for single mangoes or deals like 3 for $6. The fresh food markets (like ‘farmers markets’ who get a lot of their produce from Sydney are more expensive with prices as I described in my earlier post. I assume that the buying power of the supermarkets is enabling them to do better but I am at a loss as to why other produce sellers have such high prices in a bumper season. I think we are being ripped off by someone and I doubt it is the farmer.
You make some good points. Perhaps insufficient competition is contributing to the problem.
I don’t really think that the transport costs are the issue though because that would not explain why in a bumper season the mango prices are higher this year than they were last year and transport costs have not risen to the extent that would justify those higher prices. I can’t believe that we are seeing trays at nearly $40 when I could get exactly the same mangoes from the same farms in the same trays last year at $25-$30 per tray.
Banana prices fluctuate depending on the amount being produced and they are also transported quite a long way to us but they are never more expensive in a bumper season no matter what happens to transport costs.
Someone is making a lot of money and I expect it’s someone in the middle. Our produce markets have high prices for mangoes (even higher than the supermarkets) and they source the produce from the Sydney markets.
Have you tried the Fyshwick Markets? We used to go to on a Sunday afternoon when a lot of the fruit and veg was sold off at a cheaper price because they were closed till Wednesday.
Yes. That’s the one of main sources of the high prices I quoted including the costs last year versus this year.
Woolworths East Tamworth last week:
Kensington Pride $4.50 each
Keitt $2.50 each
On Saturday bought a tray of 16 mangoes for $8, or $0.50 each. Nice and firm with a few spots going mushy. Sunday they were into the dehydrator. Monday yummy mango strips.
Also bought a box for $15, in much better condition. Kept those for eating fresh.
Bought a double level tray of not juicy peaches (in a similar size tray to the one mangos came in) for $5. They went into the dehydrator too. Really sweet dehydrated.
Also bought red & green grapes $3.99/kg.
Only one place, a green grocer, that I know of here on the Gold Cost that sells so cheaply; and they do a roaring trade.
These are great if oven baked with a dusting of cinnamon, served with Greek yoghurt, cream or ice cream (maybe all three). The baked ones also freeze well for later enjoyment. Can be stewed or preserved as well, but I think not as good as baked ones.
Usually end of February is the end of the peak mango season. Have noticed some late season varieties coming onto the market in the past fortnight in Brisbane.
Thanks for the suggestions.
We used the dehydrated fruit, including bananas, in a fruit and seed loaf I made this morning.
Yes, we stewed a pot of peaches too. Had some of them with ice cream. If they last long enough and I have time, I’ll make peach jam.
I’ll have to give the baked ones a try as you suggest. We always have Greek yoghurt and cinnamon on hand.
Not sure when I will get back to Helensvale to buy more cheap fruit. Soon I hope.
Our mango trees were loaded, 150-250 per tree (Bowen / Kensington Pride) and 50+ R2E2 - these were massive but due to excess rain tasted more like pawpaw. I couldn’t give them away. We didn’t even look at freighting them to market.
It started with the bumper crop in the NT. Mine were not ready, but they were $1.79 at the Fruit & Veg (much more in supermarkets) so I bought a few. Then as Qld supplies came in the prices didn’t alter much. My ‘warehouse’ supermarket likes to show how they beat the Coles, Woolies & Aldi catalogue prices with a display at the entrance. Mangoes featured every week at about half their ‘special’ prices. They had them out for $0.79 ea (Bowen) for a while and are now stocking lesser known varieties Keitt, Pearl, Hood. The fruit looks good, even though they take ‘seconds’ that the big 3 won’t touch.
We loaded up and went to our house out bush, but despite the drought the mangoes had out done themselves and the mail man was delivering free mangoes to his rural customers. We couldn’t give them all away, so bought a lot back. The possums, birds and compost heap did well.
How did it happen? Mangoes won’t tolerate rain during flowering; we had a mini 2 month drought that must have got every flower pollinated and fruiting. The NT had a very late start to the monsoon. Hence the oversupply in both states.
Our local roadside fruit & veg were buying dirt cheap mangoes and then advertising $5 a Tray! The “tray” was 2 or 3 sad mangoes on a foam tray, not 30 in a box (tray). They worked on the premise that if people stop, they will buy something. They also advertised $ per bucket of xxx - they had a standard plastic bucket on display, but had bagged up what they considered “a bucket full” and tried to palm off seconds as “organic”. The van hasn’t been there for about 2 weeks, so their reputation might have caught up with them. Or they went broke with unsaleable mangoes?