Zespri is continuing its search for a red kiwifruit cultivar after an in-market trial involving a red offering.
The single desk marketer supplied around10,000 trays of red kiwifruit into Australia earlier this year. The programme involved one of Zespri’s pre-commercial red varieties, grown in New Zealand under a trial arrangement with growers.
Zespri’s global marketing manager Melanie Auld said the variety’s taste and a vibrant red flesh colour generated plenty of intrigue amongst consumers, although questions remain over its ability to yield commercial volumes.
“It’s still part of our pre-commercial programme and, while it’s a great variety, unfortunately it’s highly susceptible to Psa so we’re continuing our search for a more Psa-tolerant premium red cultivar,” Auld told Fruitnet.
Around 60 per cent of the red fruit was sold through Zespri’s direct retail customers, with the remaining 40 per cent making its way through wholesale channels.
Australia was the only market to sell Zespri Red branded kiwifruit this year, with the programme supported by in-store sampling. Auld said the company would look to continue the red programme in Australia in 2017 if volumes allow for it.
“The feedback from customers and consumers in Australia was very positive,” Auld said. “Red kiwifruit generates excitement from consumers as it’s novel, great tasting and is high in vitamin C.”