This case study highlights Zespri and their use of intellectual property working with local US growers to grow the US market and their share of it.
Executive Director, NZUS Council
Kiwifruit exports from New Zealand to the US are growing rapidly, accounting for NZ$159.1m for the 2020 season. For Zespri, New Zealand’s industry led exporter, the US is a launch market with considerable potential. With good market access (zero tariffs), high incomes, and a growing consumer desire for sustainable, healthy, and organic products, kiwifruit offers plenty of potential for the US market.
New Zealand exported over 30,000 tonnes of kiwifruit to the US in 2020, 31% of US consumption. However, kiwifruit makes up only around 1% of the global fruit basket, and so a major focus for Zespri is growing total US consumer demand for the fruit rather than competing directly with US or other growers. A part of this strategy is not just exporting New Zealand-grown kiwifruit to the world, but also working with northern hemisphere growers to grow Zespri varieties, including Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, in exchange for licence royalty payments.
New Zealand kiwifruit growers can supply the market for 8 to 9 months of the year. Working with growers in the Northern Hemisphere helps to bridge this gap and extend the kiwifruit season, helping to maintain shelf space and a presence with consumers. Zespri has established global supply operations in Italy, France, Greece, Japan, and Korea. As part of growing the US market, Zespri is also working with local US growers to carry out pre-commercial trials of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit.