The New Zealand Kiwifruit season has passed the half way mark and 100 percent of the ZESPRI® Kiwifruit crop has been picked and packed.
ZESPRI CEO Lain Jager describes this season as one of the most promising yet challenging years for kiwifruit. “ZESPRI® Kiwifruit are delicious this season and the quality of the fruit is well above last year. On the back of a strong and early start to the season we have achieved solid sales volumes in all markets to date. Although we have passed the significant half way mark in a strong position, there are still challenges ahead,” said Mr Jager.
“The economic environment will continue to affect consumer spending and we will need to work harder and smarter to ensure that ZESPRI® Kiwifruit continue to maintain strong sales as competing summer fruit volumes increase,” he added.
Of this year’s crop of ZESPRI® Kiwifruit, just over 65 percent has already been shipped to international markets and is being actively marketed at a retail level. Shipping volumes are 3 percent ahead of shipping volumes for the same time last year.
Export charter shipments of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit, which historically has an earlier season than ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit, have completed. The final 1.3 million trays of export charter ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit left the Port of Tauranga last week bound for Asian markets.
The Regulus, a Fresh Carriers Company vessel, departed the Port of Tauranga carrying the remaining export charter ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan and Pusan in Korea. It holds around 4,618 pallets of kiwifruit under deck and 36 40-foot containers (each containing 20 pallets) of kiwifruit on deck. The shipment is due to arrive in Tokyo on the 16th of August 2009.
Shipping of ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit will continue through to November 2009, with ships departing on a regular basis for Asia and Europe.
To date, 18 Asian charter vessels, 23 European and 2 North American vessels have departed New Zealand carrying ZESPRI® Kiwifruit. Continual improvements in packing and loading have provided efficiencies and contribute to reduced overall shipping costs.
The quality and taste of this season’s ZESPRI® GREEN and GOLD Kiwifruit is outstanding. The GOLD has a more intense sweetness and the GREEN tang is unmistakable. Superior fruit quality compared to competitor products allows ZESPRI to achieve price premiums for its kiwifruit in nearly all markets.
In-market wholesale and retail sales of ZESPRI® GREEN and GOLD Kiwifruit has been buoyed by a strong ZESPRI® Brand presence in each market. Television advertising, print campaigns, outdoor displays, product sampling and in-store promotional activities are in full swing across Japan, Europe, East Asia, South East Asia and North America. Innovative consumer promotions and competitions continue to drive sales volumes over competitive products and incoming summer fruits.
NB: While all exporter charter shipments of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit are now complete, a small volume of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit trays has been allocated for sale and will be shipped in containers by the end of August.