Branded kiwiberry Nergi is poised to launch its first major marketing activity in the UK after a ruling to class it as a novel food was overturned.
The French brand, owned by kiwifruit grower group Primland, has a series of activities planned for the UK for the upcoming Nergi season, including tastings, promotion in consumer media, engagement with bloggers and features in supermarket magazines.
Nergi volumes reached three million punnets in 2016, and this is expected to rise to between five and six million for the next year.
The kiwiberry was cleared for marketing in the UK last year after lobbying from the Fresh Produce Consortium proved that it is a growing fruit sector, with sales already around £1 million, not a novel food.
Primland general manager Jean-Baptiste Pinel said: “Our brand has strength in the UK because no one else has this product. They have non-branded kiwiberries, but they don’t have the same quality or volumes.
“Our strategy firstly is to convince consumers about our product, and then retailers will be happy to benefit from that.”
Pinel was speaking at Fruit Logistica last week, at a reception held to celebrate Primland’s 40th anniversary.
“British retailers can see what we’re doing in France and Germany, where the Nergi brand has already been successful,” he said, adding that the Nergi brand could be featured on the back of packs in the UK, in a co-branding agreement with retailers.
Primland was established in 1977 in south west France with the creation of a Groupement d'Intérêt Economique (GIE) to market French kiwifruit from a group of producers, under the label Kiwifruits De France.