6 Dec 2019

Production of red, berry-flavoured kiwifruit is under way

From First Up, 5:10 am on 6 December 2019

Zespri expects it will take two years before it can meet demand for its new red, berry-flavoured kiwifruit. 

Red kiwi fruit

Photo: Supplied.

The company has been trialling the fruit in New Zealand and Singapore, and chief executive Dan Matheson said it had sold well even when priced at 25 percent above green and gold varieties. 

"The response has been quite exciting. We've had incredible feedback from our consumers who have been buying the fruit at the supermarket shelf.

"In fact we've just had letters coming in from consumers both here in New Zealand and Singapore asking for more of that and 'why it was only available on the shelf for such short period of time'."

He said the red colour was produced by anthocyanin, an antioxidant which he claimed was good for cardiovascular and cognitive health. 

"It has this beautiful berry-tinged flavour which is quite unique in the fruit basket and we've seen very very strong appeal with our consumer base towards this taste," he said.

"The skin is quite a dark, almost purpley colour. It has a vibrant red flesh colour, very red near the core of the fruit and then it has a beautiful lighter red colour out towards the edges towards the skin."

He said the skin was quite thin compared to either the Hayward green or Sungold yellow kiwifruit varieties, which meant it could not be stored for as long.