[29 October/Rural News]

New Zealand kiwifruit demand is being driven by a trend amongst consumers who are looking to live better and healthier lives. Zespri Chief Executive, Dan Mathieson, said kiwifruit fit perfectly into that category. He added sales growth had been strong with 150 million trays last year, up from 120 million. A lot of the increase was driven by the Sungold variety. He noted looking long term, Zespri believed the trend would continue with ongoing growth in demand for healthy, nutritious food. He added that their target group of consumers were health conscious, which was not region-specific. European consumers had always been strong supporters of Zespri green, however were beginning to be attracted to Sungold.