According to a Rabobank expert, the US could be a growth market for New Zealand kiwifruit exporters. However, consumers will need ‘educating’ and value-added products will be needed to make the most of this opportunity, says RaboResearch senior analyst Roland Fumasi.
While kiwifruit is not yet a “big deal” in the US market, demand is moving in the right direction, Fumasi told kiwifruit growers via a webinar. “At 0.25kg per person each year, kiwifruit consumption in the US falls a long way behind some of the more popular fruits like strawberries, which are close to 4kg per capita each year,” he said. “However, we have seen good growth in kiwifruit consumption in recent years and it is now one of the more rapidly growing products in the US fruit and nut space.”
Fumasi reckons the healthfulness of kiwifruit is “off the charts” and explains growing demand over recent years, particularly in households with more disposable income.
“We’ve also seen good growth in sales of gold kiwifruit, with the sweeter flavour proving a hit with many consumers. Another factor in its popularity is it’s more ready to eat when you buy it and provides a more consistent eating experience. Another factor in growing demand is that the product is supplied to the US market 52 weeks of the year, which helps consumers to establish a regular consumption pattern.”