13 Mar 2019

Red fleshed kiwifruit to be trialled in NZ

7:31 pm on 13 March 2019

A red fleshed kiwifruit variety is being tested on New Zealanders.

Red kiwi fruit

Photo: Supplied.

As part of a sales trial, the kiwifruit marketer and exporter Zespri will release 30,000 trays of Zespri Red to both national supermarket chains and selected retailers over the next five weeks.

The company said it wanted to know what consumers and retailers thought about the shelf-life, taste and colouring of the kiwifruit before it decided whether to move to full commercialisation.

Zespri cultivar innovation manager Bryan Parkes said the variety was the latest kiwifruit to come through its breeding programme and had been developed in partnership with Plant and Food Research.

"The fruit itself brings some pretty distinct characteristics that many of our consumers won't have experienced before. It's…a unique and naturally occurring pigment within the fruit, and it has a sweet taste."

Feedback from the trial would be an important factor in whether it made the fruit more widely available, Mr Parkes said.

"We're really excited to see how it performs, and the feedback we get from customers and retailers will be important as we consider whether to make Zespri Red more widely available alongside our other fruit."

Red kiwifruit varieties were grown in other parts of the world, mainly China, and accounted for about 10 percent of global kiwifruit sales, Mr Parkes said.

Zespri does not presently sell any red fleshed kiwifruit.

"We expect that different consumers might like it more than the existing kiwifruit," Mr Parkes said.

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