HBF International's Lori Hickey Discusses the Growing Demand for Kiwi-Berries
- by Christofer Oberst
MCMINNVILLE, OR - The “no fuzz, no fuss” berry is making its comeback this fall.
HBF International is launching full speed ahead into its kiwi-berry season out of Oregon and supply is holding steady with the current demand. In fact, the demand for this unique item has continued to grow annually as more consumers become aware of this easy-to-eat, fuzz-less, large berry.
Lori Hickey, Marketing Manager for HBF International, tells me that the consumer response has been fantastic thus far.
“We anticipate the demand to continue to grow as more consumers become aware of this berry,” she said. “Hands down there is a positive response by those trying kiwi berries for the first time. The kiwi lovers out there also love how easy it is to eat this berry.”
Kiwi-berries have a very similar flavor profile to the traditional kiwi fruit. In fact, most people will say that they taste like kiwi, only sweeter. Nutritionally, Lori tells me that they’re considered a super fruit because they offer more vitamin C than an orange. Those deemed “super” by nutrition scientists are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients that can help you live longer, look better, and even prevent disease. Being high in vitamin C is just one of the perks.
With the steady increase in demand, HBF International has also been increasing its acreage for this item.
“Our existing growers continue to add acreage as they work out the kinks of growing this somewhat difficult-to-grow berry,” Lori tells me.
For this season in particular, the volume has been great and the company expects to meet the demand. More than ever, however, it’s crucial that more consumers become aware of this item.
“We do know that there is a need to inform and educate the new consumer about the best time to consume these berries, and we have been working with the retailers to do just that. We like to say, ‘the softer the fruit, the sweeter the flavor,’” Lori says. “We are willing to provide POS/POP materials at the retail level to help get that information, as well as nutritional information into the hands of the consumer and recipes on our website to encourage other uses.”
Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue to track the rising popularity of this unique berry.