Zespri has officially opened its regional office in Orange County, California to manage growing sales across Northern, Central and Southern America.
At least $150 million will be spent worldwide, says Shih, based in Singapore.
“We will continue building recognition [and awareness] of the Zespri brand,” he told Rural News. “We have very aggressive targets [for] the success of SunGold, which has performed extremely well over the last three years, and consumption has increased significantly over six years.
“Many people still don’t know the SunGold variety so that is a great opportunity to introduce it, to talk about vitamin C and vitality benefits... and its great taste.”
In specific markets Zespri will increase its spending.
“In markets such as China and North America, we will be investing slightly more in digital platforms,” Shih says.
“We see consumers changing and spending more and more time on digital media platforms, especially mobile phones, on social media, and watching films and videos online. So we need to shift our media mix to reflect that.”
Marketing activities will start in most countries in May or June.
Zespri is in 56 markets and will keep a strong focus on 27 of those as key markets. For example, it officially opened its Middle East office in Dubai in late March to manage growing sales and marketing in that region and other developing markets.
Chief executive Lain Jager says Zespri is growing its presence in the Middle East, India and Africa and the new Dubai office will support this growth.
“More consumers in the UAE and these regions are enjoying... Zespri kiwifruit. Sales are set to increase by more than 50% in the next five years to four million trays of New Zealand fruit and two million trays of global supply (northern hemisphere) fruit,” he says.
“Zespri’s gold variety SunGold is particularly popular with Middle East consumers.... Our team in the market is working hard to expand distribution across the region.”
The aim is to grow overall kiwifruit consumption worldwide and increase the fruit’s share of the ‘global fruitbowl’ from a fraction of one percent. New markets in the Middle East, India and the US are a key part of this.