At the start of April, the first New Zealand kiwis of the season arrived in China, where demand for the fruit is booming. Indeed, Zespri expects record sales in the country to the tune of €294 million when the financial year ends in June and predicts a doubling over the next four years. Jumbo-sized kiwis weighing 150g can fetch up to €1.90 in China’s premium outlets.
With the shortfall of kiwis arriving from Europe following a poor growing season, estimates are for a 25% increase this year in imports of New Zealand kiwi fruit. This increase is despite the fact China is the world’s largest producer of kiwi. Demand for the fruit always outstrips supply, especially for Zespri’s products, which are sold under the ‘Jiapei’ brand (the Chinese name for Zespri. Zespri has offices in Shanghai and Beijing, with regional representation in Guangzhou, Xian and Chongqing. The brand has become well-established, having been sold in China for over fifteen years now. China and Japan are the firm’s two leading export markets.