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[Press Release] Zespri and Pagoda Launch Red Kiwifruit in China

April 29, 2021

This content has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content and style, as well as to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

On April 26, Zespri and Pagoda held a joint press conference in Shanghai to announce the launch of Zespri red kiwifruit on the China market and the successful shipment of 10,000 boxes of the fruit from New Zealand to China. The press conference was attended by officials from New Zealand’s consulate in Shanghai and prominent representatives from both Zespri China and Pagoda.

With a deliciously sweet berry-tinged flavor and vibrant red flesh, Zespri’s red kiwifruit (“Zespri Red” or simply “Red”) has been over 10 years in the making. The first red kiwifruit seedlings were planted in 2007 and the first fruits produced in 2009. Zespri Red was first commercialized in December 2019 in Singapore and Japan, with China now joining as the fourth country in which the small red fruit is available.

China has become Zespri’s largest and most important global market, accounting for a full 30% of the company’s global sales. This figure promises to continue growing, with Zespri’s sales in China expected to see a year-on-year increase of 10–15% this year.

As the largest fruit retail chain in China, Pagoda has established itself as the primary retail channel for Zespri in China — over the past three years alone, Pagoda has sold over 160 million Zespri kiwifruit. A limited quantity of Zespri Red was made available on Zespri’s flagship store on Tmall, which since 2019 has been exclusively operated by Pagoda.

At the press conference, Jiang Shijie, Zespri’s general manager for Greater China, emphasized the strategic significance of the Chinese market for Zespri and the shared values, solid branding and strong cooperative framework between Zespri and Pagoda. Tian Xiqiu, vice chairman of Pagoda Group, similarly emphasized the cooperative relationship between the two companies and reinforced Pagoda’s commitment to providing consumers with safe, healthy and delicious fruits.

Image: Zespri

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