Producers are saying that both kiwifruit and organic are on trend, and there is now the potential to market both of these as we come to the time of year when they’re in season.
“The time for organic kiwifruit is now,” said Chris Ford, organics and foodservice category manager for Oppy, Zespri’s North American sales and marketing partner. “Zespri green and SunGold kiwifruit are at their peak of flavor. With summer stone fruit availability wrapping up, this is the time to fill shelves with a great-tasting and nutritious fruit grown in New Zealand for quality, consistency and an amazing eating experience.”
Zespri Organic Kiwifruit growers joined Ford at the recent Organic Produce Summit, where they discussed the promise that the North American market holds for organics and gained a greater understanding of market demands.
Ford points out that the greatest opportunity may lie in fixed-weight packs of organic green kiwi. “Industrywide, sales of one-pound clamshells of organic green kiwifruit are up 76 percent compared with a year ago, according to IRI data,” he said. “We offer Zespri Green Kiwifruit in one-pound clamshells and bags. Packaging enables us to tell kiwifruit’s terrific nutrition story, share some usage ideas, and create a connection between shoppers and the brand.”
According to the company, another reason to take advantage of the packaged kiwifruit opportunity is differentiation, according to Sarah Deaton, marketing manager, North America, for Zespri. “With increasing volumes of yellow-fleshed Zespri SunGold coming into the market, packaging helps consumers understand how it differs from green kiwifruit, especially its flavor,” she said. “A benefit for the retailer, of course, is that the larger unit increases the ring.”
Deaton says that the kiwifruit category is growing at a faster rate compared to all other fruit sales, with SunGold contributing to category growth. “Efforts to build consumer awareness and trade confidence in both organic and conventional SunGold are really starting to turn the dial,” she said.
She describes Zespri’s “A Real Snack for Real Life” SunGold campaign, which involves targeted digital media and social media outreach, digital coupons, streaming radio and traditional advertising.
“Our target consumer is a higher-income working mom—or woman who plans to start a family soon—who’s proactive about health and interested in food trends,” Deaton said. “We can see that consumers in this demographic are responding enthusiastically to the campaign now and we are confident they will be looking for organic options.”