Starting from a small trial-volume base, Dori kiwifruit shipments to Asia saw a strong increase this year, according to Asia market manager of RK Growers Italy (RKG), Kevin Au Yeung.
“Dori is a new variety, which took over 20 years of dedicated research by the University of Udine and the University of Bologna and repeated field testing by the Dori Consortium Europe, to come to commercial fruition. Last year was the first year of commercialisation for Dori, with a total production volume of over 200 tonnes,” he said. “This year’s volume has grown to 2,000 tonnes, and next season, it is expected to grow to 6,000 tonnes.”
A launch event in Taiwan was held in November (2018) and promotional activities spread across various retailers in Asia have also been planned this year.
Kevin Au Yeung noted the results for one of the promotional tasting event in Hong Kong had been very successful, with over 20 tonnes of Dori selling out within two days.
“In Asia, we are rolling out some trial volumes so that each market will have a better idea of the taste, appearance and quality of Dori. This will help prepare the Asia market for next season when more volume is available” said Au Yeung.
Of the 200+ tonnes of fruit sent to Asia this season, all of it is expected to be sold ahead of the Chinese New Year period, so there won’t be any special promotions this season.
The Asia-bound fruit currently makes up around 10 per cent of the Dori total supply, with the rest being sold around Europe and other global markets.
“In fact, global demand for Dori far outstrips the supply of Dori, and we hope more volume will be available next season,” said Au Yeung.
The yellow kiwifruit, described as having an “intense” yellow-coloured flesh, is said to boast a special sweetness and aroma, even when its firm. “Whereas other kiwifruit needs to be enjoyed when the pressure of the fruit is less firm.
“Furthermore, the centre of Dori remains soft and edible even when the fruit is firm. These are some of the main differences in comparison to other yellow kiwifruit,” Au Yeung noted.
As of January 2019, Au Yeung will see out the last of the promotional retail activities for the fruit in Asia and will focus on the supply next season.
“Hopefully, with the increase in volume next season, we will be able to provide more Dori to the China market, so Chinese consumers can bring home and enjoy this great tasting yellow kiwifruit with their family and loved ones during Chinese New Year.”