Freshmax will continue to promote the healthy properties and convenience of kiwiberry, with the aim of driving further growth in the category. The company markets New Zealand-grown kiwiberry under the Munch'n brand, which has developed a loyal customer base in several Asian markets. Small volumes have also been sent to North America and Australia in recent years.
Tracey Burns, manager of Freshmax's export division, said the Covid-19 pandemic had presented a number of challenges for fruit supply and marketing over the past 24 months, but demand for Munch'n kiwiberry had held up.
"Like all fresh fruit items that rely on airfreight, our cost of transport has increased significantly, and our transport options have decreased as the number of carriers operating from New Zealand has decreased, along with the reduced frequency of many carriers," Burns explained.
"However, many of our key customers are continuing to build the kiwiberry category in response to a renewed focus on health and convenience, and strong demand for unique items such as kiwiberry."
Burns said kiwifruit production volumes in New Zealand have remained fairly static over the past three years, with the Freshmax crop gradually increasing over this period. While a rapid volume spike in 2022 is not expected, Burns said the crop is shaping up well.
"We don't anticipate a big increase over last year's production volumes, but the fruit on the vines is currently clean and growing well," he explained. "Ripening is slightly ahead of previous years, so we expect to start the season just before Chinese New Year (1 February)."
Burns said this season's marketing campaign for Munch'n will follow a familiar theme. "We are finalising the details of our marketing activity at the moment, but it will continue with the past theme of nutrition, convenience and the fun aspect of our Munch'n brand kiwis."
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