The iconic kiwifruit is not only a big player in the horticulture industry, but a symbol used throughout Kiwiana in New Zealand. It is the fruit that adorns our favourite Pavlova dessert, it shares its name with our native kiwi bird and it is a super food in its own right.


Kiwifruit seeds were first brought into New Zealand from China by Isabel Fraser, Principal of Wanganui Girls College, in 1904. At the time, kiwifruit was known by its Chinese name Yang Tao and English names Chinese Gooseberry and Monkey Peach.

In 1927, New Zealander Hayward Wright bred a cultivar of kiwifruit known as ‘Hayward’. By the 1960’s, Hayward became the standard cultivar of exported kiwifruit around the world and now makes up 90% of the world production of kiwifruit.

New Zealand has some of the best growing conditions in the world for kiwifruit; clean air, fertile soils, a cool ocean, generous climate and fewer pests and diseases all contribute to the unique quality and taste of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit.

Quick statistics

  • Today, there are approximately 2,800 kiwifruit growers and 3,200 registered orchards in New Zealand.
  • There are around 14,500 hectares of kiwifruit in production.
  • 79% of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit comes from the Bay of Plenty.
  • Zespri International Limited is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, selling into more than 50 markets and managing 30 percent of the global volume.
  • Zespri is the sole global exporter of New Zealand grown kiwifruit and is the most recognised fruit brand in China’s largest cities.
  • 159 million trays came out of the 2022/23 season with NZ Grower fruit payments of 2.24 billion dollars


Recently, industry growth has been staggering with a sales revenue of NZ kiwifruit at $2.6 billion in the 2022 season and 160 million trays (3.55kg = 1 tray) sold. The return made by New Zealand kiwifruit export revenue (year ended June) in the 2022 year is significant in comparison to other fruits and vegetables.

The total horticultural export for 2022 was $6.9 billion, meaning Kiwifruit represents 38% of New Zealand’s total horticultural export revenue.

Single Point of Entry Marketing Structure

In a referendum conducted in 2015, 98% of growers voted to keep the Single Point of Entry (65% of growers who produced 80% of the exported kiwifruit volume voted).

The Single Point of Entry (SPE) structure is the use of one exporter over multiple exporters and Zespri holds the SPE for the NZ kiwifruit industry.

This marketing structure helps producers deliver scale in the market place and enables Zespri to choose a few motivated distributors to serve each market, making kiwifruit a significant priority and an essential part of their business.

Additional benefits include: investment, branded premium product, commercialisation of new varieties, consistent quality, customer service, sustainability and competitive returns.