Zespri’s recently-commercialised gold kiwifruit variety SunGold is enjoying solid sales in 2013 and a great reception from consumers around the world.
Zespri President of Sales and Marketing Dan Mathieson gave growers an update from the markets on a recent visit to New Zealand and spoke about the growing level of confidence Zespri’s customers have in SunGold (also known as Gold3 in New Zealand).
“We’ve had an overall positive response to this juicy new variety and its refreshing sweet/sour taste balance in Japan, the rest of Asia, Europe and North America. With an increased volume, we’re now able to transition from Hort16A (Gold) to SunGold in more key markets and sales are going well,” says Dan.
With volumes expected to reach 50 million by 2018, Zespri is looking to broaden the market mix for SunGold and promotions are underway in Asia and Europe and developing markets. Overall Zespri gold volumes are down this year due to the changeover from Gold to SunGold and the effects of Psa. Zespri has allocated fruit across markets to create a platform on which to build when volumes recover from 2014 onwards.
The majority of this year’s SunGold crop was sold in Japan – an important and long standing market for Zespri Gold – with significant allocations also going to Korea and China.
“Work is ongoing to educate Zespri’s customers – our distributors, wholesalers and retailers – and the consumers who buy Zespri Kiwifruit about this great new gold variety. Zespri SunGold has a different shape and taste profile to our original Zespri Gold and customers are recognising that this is a another quality product from Zespri.
“We’ve had a favourable response to date and the conversations with our customers and consumers are ongoing to gain full acceptance of this exciting new variety. We’re working hard to ensure consistency of taste across grower lines for next season,” says Dan.
“New products are always challenging but we have confidence in the market appeal and supply chain performance of SunGold. The fruit quality has been really good this year and if we continue to get it right, we have every faith in the success of this variety.
“We’re continuing our unrelenting focus on high taste and premium quality to ensure SunGold – like all Zespri Kiwifruit – stands out in the marketplace as a premium product and continues to bring in top returns for Zespri growers,” says Dan.
Ten years in development, SunGold has a beautiful consistent shape and ranked highly in sensory testing around the world with appeal to fans of both Gold and Green. Its on-orchard disease tolerance positions SunGold as a natural replacement for the Zespri Gold variety.