"We are seeing a resurgence of excitement around the kiwifruit category," he said. “Retailers across the industry are showing renewed interest in the fruit and are building their programmes by dedicating space to larger – and often secondary – displays."
He pointed out that greater consistency was helping to drive sales following a decision by many retailers to introduce specific receiving standards for brix and pressure which was helping to iron out fluctuations in quality and flavour depending on the time of year and country of origin.
"The key is to give retailers and consumers a consistently great tasting piece of fruit, and that's the promise that Zespri makes," he continued. "If we can continue to deliver on this, and work with retailers to promote the fruit, we see huge potential for category growth."
Oppenheimer took delivery of its first annual shipment of Zespri-branded Green and Gold kiwifruit in the second week of May, two to three weeks earlier than last year. Mr Woodyear-Smith said the growing season has produced a heavy crop with a larger standard fruit size overall than last year.
This year, the marketer is encouraging its retail customers to price up fruit by weight rather than individual pieces. "We've learned (from other parts of the world) that when the fruit is priced by the pound, instead of by piece, a sales volume boost of nearly 45 per cent can be realised," said Mr Woodyear-Smith.