Munch'n kiwiberries

Freshmax will continue to promote the health properties and convenience of kiwiberries, in a bid to drive further category growth.

The company markets New Zealand-grown kiwiberries under the Munch’n brand, which has developed a loyal customer base in a number of Asian markets. Small volumes have also been sent to North America and Australia over recent years.

Freshmax’s division manager – export, Tracey Burns, said the Covid-19 pandemic presented a number of challenges around supplying and marketing the fruit over the past 24 months, but demand for Munch’n kiwiberries has held strong.

“Like all fresh fruit items that rely on airfreight, our freight cost has increased markedly, and our freight options have decreased with the decline in the number of carriers operating out of New Zealand, coupled with the reduced frequency of many carriers,” Burns explained.

“However, many of our key customers are continuing to build the kiwiberry category in response to a renewed focus on health and convenience, and high demand for unique fruit items such as kiwiberries.”

Burns said kiwiberry production volumes in New Zealand have remained fairly static over the past three years, with Freshmax’s crop increasing gradually over this time. While a rapid spike in volume is not forecast in 2022, Burns said the crop is shaping up well.

“We do not anticipate a large increase from last year’s production volumes, but the fruit on the vines is currently clean and tracking well for size,” she explained.“Maturity is slightly ahead of previous years, so we are hopeful of starting the season just prior to Chinese New Year (1 February).”

Burns said this season’s marketing campaign for Munch’n will follow a familiar theme.

“We are fine tuning the details of our marketing activity at present but it will continue with the past theme of nutrition, convenience, and the fun aspect of our Munch’n branded kiwiberry.”