To meet strong consumer demand, Zespri is importing kiwifruit from Italy to extend its SunGold season toward a year-round supply. The Italian SunGold Kiwifruit will be sold in the company’s identifiable “Cut. Scoop. Enjoy!” packaging with the Zespri label.
“We’ve been reconfiguring our business structure and building our team to help our customers grow their business and develop supply options to enable us to become a truly 12-month brand in North America,” explained Ben Hughes, general manager of the Americas. “The New Zealand Kiwifruit season begins in May and runs through November. We are now able to supply consumers with SunGold Kiwifruit well into winter.”
Zespri’s Italian SunGold Kiwifruit packaging options will range from various weights of clamshells, bags, loose bulk and displays, with clean, simple imagery and messaging that highlights Zespri Kiwifruit’s freshness and sweeter taste. “Our Italian SunGold growers achieve the same exceptional taste standards as our New Zealand growers, which ensures great consistency and quality for our customers and consumers,” said Hughes.
To support retailers, Zespri offers customized category programs and promotions through their regional market development managers. Customized programs are developed around each retailer’s specific needs due to their customers’ shopping patterns, according to company officials. In addition, Zespri launched strong consumer and retailer campaigns to support the SunGold variety, including point-of-purchase displays and other merchandising material that feature the “Celebrate the SunGold” consumer graphics.
Zespri has a core team in Italy that works directly with the growers, including dedicated technical and grower services teams, to oversee growing practices. Obtaining fruit from Italy meets Zespri’s growth strategy to grow the kiwifruit category in North America by achieving a year-round supply. Although SunGold leads the growth strategy, Zespri’s goal is to supply a full range of fresh kiwi products including Green, Organic Green and Organic SunGold.