Friday, 08 March 2024 13:43

Red hot demand for RubyRed Kiwifruit

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Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit is now available in most supermarkets and fruit and vegetables stores in New Zealand. Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit is now available in most supermarkets and fruit and vegetables stores in New Zealand.

Zespri says sales of its popular berry-like RubyRed Kiwifruit will top 1 million trays this season.

Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit is now available in most supermarkets and fruit and vegetables stores in New Zealand and will also be in markets throughout Asia Pacific including Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore and for the first time this season in South Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong. About 3,600 tonnes are expected to be devoured this season.

Zespri chief executive officer Dan Mathieson says it’s exciting to reach the one million tray milestone for the kiwifruit which is in its third year of commercial production.

“Our Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit volume has tripled compared to last season so it’s fantastic to have more fruit available for our customers and consumers in New Zealand and across Asia Pacific, including a number of new markets this year. There’s strong demand for RubyRed which generates a really high level of excitement and uptake amongst customers and consumers, and particularly younger consumers who love the distinctive taste, colour and health benefits.”

The kiwifruit was developed through Zespri’s world-leading kiwifruit breeding programme, in partnership with Plant & Food Research and has a smaller natural fruit size.

Zespri is expecting strong growth across all kiwifruit varieties this season, with 193 million trays of kiwifruit to be shipped to markets around the world, with the Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit crop volume increasing with new orchards coming into production.

“As our newest kiwifruit variety, we continue to build our knowledge of Zespri RubyRedTM Kiwifruit so we can meet the strong demand we’re seeing and this includes gathering consumer feedback to drive strong per tray returns in our markets and maximise the value we can return for our RubyRed growers,” says Mathieson.

“We’re really excited about our red variety which complements our Green and SunGold varieties. It’s also a variety which is helping bring new and younger consumers to the kiwifruit category and we believe increased production in the coming years will support its growth in high value markets.”

Strong marketing campaigns will support the sale of Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit across markets this year. This season’s campaigns will include in-store activations and sampling, as well as digital and social campaigns using influencers to highlight the distinctive flavour as well as the health benefits of Zespri RubyRed.

 Zespri and Plant & Food Research continue to explore new kiwifruit varieties through its world leading Kiwifruit Breeding Centre formed as a joint venture in 2021.

Facts & figures

  • Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit supply is expected to triple in volume in 2024 vs 2023 to around one million trays, or 3,600 tonnes
  • It is the first Zespri Kiwifruit variety to be harvested at the start of the season with the berry-like kiwifruit now available in most supermarkets and fruit and vegetable stores in New Zealand
  • This season it is also available in Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore and for the first time in Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong
  • It has vibrant red flesh and tempting berry sweet flavours
  • They are naturally high in Vitamin C and contain anthocyanins that are naturally occurring pigments within the fruit giving the fruit its red colour
  • Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit are naturally smaller, making them perfect for school lunchboxes
  • They have a shorter shelf life compared to other Zespri varieties and should be kept refrigerated until ready to eat but if hard, left at room temperature to ripen  
  • Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit is the latest variant to come through Zespri’s world-leading kiwifruit breeding programme, in partnership with Plant & Food Research, with 2024 marking the third year of commercial production

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