Zespri confirmed its current red kiwifruit will be named Zespri RubyRed for the first year of commercial volume sales in the upcoming season in 2022.
Commercialised in December 2019 and initially marketed as Zespri Red during sale trials, Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit will be available in commercial volumes for the first in 2022 in New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and China. Volumes are expected to increase from 70,000 trays in 2021 to around 250,000 in 2022.
Zespri chief growth officer Jiunn Shih said the new name better reflected the fruit's properties and had tested well in consumer research.
"Consumers have been attracted to the fruit's unique colour profile and berry-like taste, and we've been delighted with their feedback," said Shih.
"The consumer response to our limited sales trials over the last three seasons have exceeded expectations and suggest Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit is able to attract new and younger consumers into the kiwifruit category, complementing our offering of the world's best kiwifruit.
"As we've moved towards establishing commercial volumes of our red kiwifruit, we've been exploring names that better embody the essence of the fruit and which we hope will resonate with our consumers.
"Throughout our consumer research, Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit has remained at the top of consumer's preference list – not only because it reflects the rare and precious nature of the fruit, but the ruby element gives consumers an immediate sense of that alluring red colour."
Shih said consumer research was undertaken in a number of markets and considered the need for the new name to translate across different languages given the fruit's appeal in broad Asian markets.
"The shorter shelf-life of Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit compared to Zespri SunGold and Zespri Green has meant that we've prioritised our Asian markets given the shorter marine transit times," said Shih.
"We know there's strong demand for the fruit in our other markets, including in Europe, and we're continually growing trials in our Northern Hemisphere production locations to determine the commercial potential of a red cultivar in different environments.
"We remain committed to providing the world's leading portfolio of fresh, high quality and safe kiwifruit, and we're looking forward to even more consumers being able to try Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit in the years ahead," said Shih.
Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit will be available to consumers in New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and China from around March until late May next year.