First Zespri kiwifruit of season en route to United States

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First Zespri kiwifruit of season en route to United States

The season’s first two shipments of Zespri kiwifruit from New Zealand are expected to arrive at the Port of Philadelphia and the Port of Los Angeles by the end of April, the company said Thursday. The fruit shipments, including Green and SunGold Kiwifruit, can be tracked online and  should reach consumers by mid-May.

“We are heading into the new season as the #1 selling kiwi brand for the fourth consecutive year,” said Darren LaMothe, Zespri’s General Manager, North America, in a press release. 

“We’ve had great weather and growing conditions and are expecting an exceptional-tasting crop this year.”

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Zespri to ship 193 million trays of kiwifruit in 2024

New Zealand is the top supplier of imported kiwifruit to the United States, on average representing 46.4% of the market and $94.9 million in value, according to USDA data. The country is followed by Chile with 20% of the market, Italy with another 20% and Greece with 13%.

As of January, the U.S. has imported 349,000 pounds of New Zealand kiwifruit, down 94% from the previous year. Imports were also down for Chile by 50% to 857,000 pounds.

From the Northern Hemisphere, Italy had dropped 13% to 22.9 million pounds. Meanwhile, Greece was up 44% to 19 million pounds.

By the campaign's end, Zespri expects 2024 to bring strong export numbers. In February, the company forecast 193 million trays of kiwifruit exports, a 43% increase from the previous year.

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