Supplies of imported kiwis are slightly lower and are meeting strong demand.
“Although it’s down slightly from last year, it’s relatively comparable to last year across our growing regions. We source kiwi from a collection of growers in several regions,” says Yasmin Pacia of Trucco Inc. in Vineland NJ. Currently this includes New Zealand and Chile. Chile’s imports will go through to September while New Zealand will run through November.
Despite the lower supplies, volumes are steady. “Volume should pick up by early June and we anticipate it will remain at the same level throughout the spring and summer seasons,” says Pacia.
Meanwhile demand from retailers and wholesalers for kiwi is strong. “We’re seeing an uptick in orders from foodservice providers now that hotels and restaurants are coming out of COVID-19-related reductions in service,” adds Pacia.
Overall, Pacia is optimistic about the future of kiwi consumption, a fruit that has seen increased demand in the past year thanks in part to its health benefits--including containing vitamin C, something consumers looked for throughout the pandemic. “There are also newer varieties growers are producing such as gold kiwifruit,” adds Pacia. “All of them have slightly different flavor profiles.”
That said, prices are higher than last year currently. “This is for a number of reasons, primarily due to adjustments in labor and the supply chain brought about by the pandemic,” says Pacia.
“Transportation, packaging materials and other production costs have increased. We’re working diligently to contain and offset costs where we can without negatively affecting the quality of our produce or our service. We’d also like to thank our great employees, growers and customers for the hard work they’ve put in over the past year. It’s been challenging, but also rewarding.”