The 2013 New Zealand kiwifruit season has already set records for the best-tasting Zespri Kiwifruit ever.
With harvest nearly completed, on-orchard sampling has confirmed what Zespri consumers have been saying – that this year is a vintage taste year for Zespri Kiwifruit.
Carol Ward, Zespri General Manager Marketing, says every block of every Zespri-supplying orchard is tested for levels of dry matter before harvest, with dry matter corresponding to sweetness in ripe fruit.
“We’re seeing the highest-ever levels of dry matter for all categories of Zespri Kiwifruit, which means a vintage year for fantastic-tasting fruit. Dry matter is up substantially in all our varieties– so the fruit is tasting great.
“These record levels of dry matter are consistent across the industry, which means the overwhelming majority of Zespri Kiwifruit fall into the highest taste category.
“Our offshore marketing teams are telling us that this is driving very strong repeat purchasing by consumers. Consumer research has confirmed that the higher levels of dry matter convert to sugars in the fruit and this is proven to increase both consumers’ enjoyment of the fruit and their intention to purchase again,” says Carol.
The record sunshine levels in New Zealand this summer have contributed to this record-tasting vintage crop. Most of Zespri’s New Zealand kiwifruit is grown in the Bay of Plenty region, which has had the highest sunlight levels in January, February and March this year since records began on modern equipment in 1992. This corresponded to the lowest rainfall levels on record,
which has resulted in slightly smaller but great-tasting kiwifruit.
“Our marketing teams have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from customers and consumers to the fantastic taste across all varieties of Zespri Kiwifruit this season, which has helped kick off a really strong start to the 2013 selling season around the world,” says Carol.