Green, gold and red kiwifruit programs from California

From Fresh Plaza | 9 November 2023

Overview of kiwifruit from California in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on November 8, 2023.

Wild River Fruit, a grower and shipper of California kiwifruit for nearly 50 years, is now offering programs in green, gold and red kiwifruit grown in the U.S.

“Recognizing that kiwifruit has become the fastest-growing fruit in the fruit basket in terms of U.S. retail sales, we believe there is great potential to introduce diversification in the category,” says Travis Noland, vice president of Wild River.

Wild River is currently offering promotable volumes projected to account for more than half of all U.S. organic production this season. “While we were a bit late to start harvesting this season due to delayed maturities across the state, we are offering an abundant crop of aesthetically beautiful, high-flavor Hayward green kiwifruit, which we pack into 1lb clamshells and bags, as well as bulk and trays, from now through May,” Noland explains.

Wild River began trialing several varieties of Actinidia Chinensis “Gold Kiwi” in 2009 and offered a U.S.-grown organic gold kiwifruit program to complement its conventional gold kiwi offerings in recent years.

This year, Wild River debuted the newest addition to its kiwifruit line – Berry Red Kiwi, which offers a sweet and juicy flavor with notes of raspberry and blackberry, measuring in excess of 20 brix and 21 percent dry matter.

kiwifruit prices by hist

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Unlike green kiwifruit varieties of Actinidia deliciosa, gold and red kiwifruit are technically different species. Actinidia chinensis requires additional investments in shade infrastructure and unique irrigation systems in order to produce successfully in California.

To complement its kiwifruit programs, Wild River offers an assortment of organic fruit programs, including seasonal specialties like persimmons and a six-month organic mandarin program, and exotics, such as organic rambutan and pitaya imported from partner farms in Latin America. With the expansion of its product line, the company continues to grow its brand, which features a cute and cuddly kiwi owl mascot designed to educate both children and adults about Wild River’s unique growing practices and commitment to promote biodiversity.

Wild River has traditionally supplied its longstanding relationships with both wholesalers and nationwide retailers. With growing production, it is seeking to build on these partnerships and identify new customers across North America and beyond.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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