ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the very positive consumer reaction to Zespri Kiwifruit last season, Zespri today announces plans to significantly grow its volume across North America in 2016. In fact, Zespri's growth extends beyond its distribution: a North American office is opening in Orange County, California to support customers and distributors in the next step in the company's expansion, which includes hiring more staff within the region.
Zespri SunGold—a natural cross between gold varieties of kiwifruit—is one of the fastest growing new fruits globally, with sales expanding rapidly in the U.S. and Canada. Sweeter than a green kiwifruit, the SunGold variety tastes like a cross between a mango and a strawberry and has a smooth, hairless skin with a juicy, yellow flesh. SunGold's appeal is also its nutrition benefits: one serving has three times more vitamin C than an orange and provides as much potassium as a banana.1
Glen Arrowsmith, Zespri market manager North America, explains the first shipments of Zespri Kiwifruit will hit shores in mid-May and consumers will see Zespri in stores across the U.S. and Canada by June 1.
"U.S. demand for Zespri Green Kiwifruit also continues to climb as consumers discover the delicious and vastly superior eating experience of Zespri Kiwifruit," said Arrowsmith. "Zespri shows steady growth in both Organic Green and Organic SunGold varietals as well."
The reason behind the superior eating experience is Zespri's comprehensive quality system, which is used in every stage of the production process and is the basis for all Zespri kiwifruit growers. Zespri is a grower-owned company.
"We are committed to the North America market as we see a real opportunity for the kiwifruit category to grow as consumers experience premium quality Zespri fruit," said Arrowsmith. "We're elevating our unrelenting focus on superior taste and eating experience with a robust, innovative marketing plan and re-brand strategy to reach consumers."
To support the expanded distribution and re-brand, Zespri conducted research in the U.S. around the development of consistent packaging across all platforms. The key findings of the research favored the product image as the main focus and the taste profile message, along with the usage message "Cut, Scoop & Enjoy," to help remind consumers that kiwifruit is an easy-to-eat, delicious and refreshing snack. New packaging will roll out through the upcoming season with full coverage planned for the 2017 season.
Additionally, Zespri's integrated PR and marketing campaign will launch across TV, print and digital media to raise awareness of SunGold and educate consumers on how to select and enjoy a ripe Zespri Kiwifruit. The company is also planning sampling activities that will allow consumers to "Taste the Difference" at high-traffic locations in target markets across North America. Zespri will expand its social media efforts with user-generated videos that will be released on Zespri's YouTube channel.
1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Available at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl
Zespri International exports premium kiwifruit and is recognized as one of the world's most successful horticulture marketing companies. Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Zespri is 100 percent owned by current or past kiwifruit growers, and employs approximately 400 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The Zespri brand is the global leader in premium quality kiwifruit. On behalf of 2,500 growers in New Zealand and 1,200 growers based elsewhere, Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, and Zespri Organic. For more information on Zespri North America, please visit www.zesprikiwi.com.
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SOURCE Zespri Kiwifruit