North American produce distributor Oppy says that with kiwifruit ‘on-trend’ and the organic produce sector skyrocketing, there is an ‘excellent opportunity’ to drive sales performance with Zespri Organic kiwifruit.
“The time for organic kiwifruit is now,” said Chris Ford, organics and foodservice category manager for Oppy, Zespri’s North American sales and marketing partner.
“Zespri Green and SunGold Kiwifruit are at their peak of flavor. With summer stone fruit availability wrapping up, this is the time to fill shelves with a great-tasting and nutritious fruit grown in New Zealand for quality, consistency and an amazing eating experience.”
In a release, Oppy said that Zespri Organic kiwifruit growers joined Ford at the recent Organic Produce Summit, where they gained a greater understanding of the market.
Ford points out that the greatest opportunity may lie in fixed-weight packs of organic green kiwi.
“Industry-wide, sales of one-pound clamshells of organic green kiwifruit are up 76 percent compared with a year ago, according to IRI data,” he said.
“We offer Zespri Green Kiwifruit in one-pound clamshells and bags. Packaging enables us to tell kiwifruit’s terrific nutrition story, share some usage ideas, and create a connection between shoppers and the brand.”
Another reason to take advantage of the packaged kiwifruit opportunity is differentiation, according to Sarah Deaton, Zespri’s marketing manager for North America.
“With increasing volumes of yellow-fleshed Zespri SunGold coming into the market, packaging helps consumers understand how it differs from green kiwifruit, especially its flavor,” she said.
“A benefit for the retailer, of course, is that the larger unit increases the ring.”
Deaton said that the kiwifruit category is growing at a faster rate compared to all other fruit sales, with SunGold contributing to much of the category growth.
“Efforts to build consumer awareness and trade confidence in both organic and conventional SunGold are really starting to turn the dial,” she said.
“Our target consumer is a higher-income working mom—or woman who plans to start a family soon—who’s proactive about health and interested in food trends,” Deaton said.
Organic and conventional Zespri Kiwifruit is available now from Oppy, with organic green and SunGold from New Zealand continuing through the next few months, dovetailing into supply from Italy that will extend availability through February 2019.