Zespri Strikes Gold

The Zespri phenomenon has been featured in online marketing magazine Reveries. NZ lost its domination of international kiwifruit sales as far back as 1989, when countries such as Italy, Spain, Chile, South Africa and France starting producing the fruit en masse. Instead of admitting defeat, NZ Kiwi farmers teamed up with Hort Research to develop – and, crucially, patent – a new variety named Zespri Gold. Zespri Gold reported sales of $150 million in 2005, 50% more than in 2003. The company predicts sales of $650 million by 2009. Reveries: “Best part is, unlike the original kiwi, the new variety was patented, meaning that anyone who wants to grow it has to pay a licensing fee. Irony is, among Zespri’s best customers are the very countries that used to be stealing their market share. How cool is that?”

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