NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — Zespri has set its sights on year-round availability of its SunGold kiwifruit in the United States.

A combination of creative sampling, a new vertically designed package, and an effective consumer campaign has contributed to a sales increase of over 31% in net sales (total U.S.) for this season, according to Zespri. To meet growing consumer demand, the company is planning for year-round availability and is currently in a test phase to explore the potential for growing Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit within the United States.

“Consumers love the taste of our Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit,” said Glen Arrowsmith, Zespri’s North America Market Manager. “Our goal is to eventually offer the Zespri eating experience to consumers year-round. We are excited to partner with local growers to explore the U.S. opportunity as we test the growing potential and the fruit’s post-harvest and sensory performance. We are at the very early stage but have just harvested the first small trial U.S. crop in October, which was planted in 2018. It’s exciting to see U.S. grown SunGold Kiwi.”

With an eye on the future, Zespri is partnering with a range of local U.S. growers at 10 test sites to better understand local growing conditions on the West Coast. The opportunity is for West Coast grown SunGold Kiwifruit to supplement its New Zealand and Italian grown kiwi to provide a 12-month supply. Zespri’s seasonal supply is shipped from New Zealand from May through November.