The US is a comparatively recent market for Zespri ,which previously looked much more to China and Japan for growth. However, the kiwifruit marketer opened a pan-American office in 2017. Last year, US sales reached almost $100 million, an annual increase of 50 percent, and Zespri chief grower David Courtney says this season will see even more fruit sold.
Volume to the US will account for about 7 million of the 140 million trays it expects to sell, with sales driven by the SunGold variety, Courtney says: “The US has been a green market, with fruit from either from Chile or California, so we see gold as the opportunity to open up the market to the different taste profile.”
He says the United States is a relatively underdeveloped market for kiwifruit where it is number 21 in the overall fruit bowl - in Europe and Asia it sits in the top 10. In more developed markets such as China and Japan, which are the Zespri’s top sales generators, more sophisticated messaging is required such as the fruit's nutritional value. In the US, Zespri tries to just get people to buy kiwifruit.
Sales goal of $4.5 billion by 2025
US sales are hoped to drive Zespri toward its sales goal of $4.5 billion by 2025. In the 12 months ended March 31, global kiwifruit sales and licence release revenue broke the $3 billion mark for the first time.
According to sharechat.co.nz¸ Global trade uncertainty has little impact on Zespri presently as it moves little into the United Kingdom and if anything tariffs had hurt US exporters wanting to get their fruit into China, Courtney says.