First New Zealand kiwifruit arrives in U.S.The first New Zealand kiwifruit of the season has arrived in the U.S.

Fruit landed on the West Coast the week of May 12 and began arriving on the East Coast the week of May 19, according to a news release from Mount Maunganui, New Zealand-based Zespri International Ltd., the sole exporter of New Zealand kiwifruit.

A combination of warm growing weather, adequate rainfall and a cool fall has produced excellent quality this season, according to Zespri.

In 2014 Zespri expects to ship more of its new SunGold variety, a gold/green hybrid that is less susceptible to PSA, a vine disease that has destroyed significant amounts of New Zealand kiwifruit.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to reach more consumers this year in the U.S. and Canada markets,” Michele Hoard, Zespri’s marketing manager for North America, said in the release. “This is a fantastic piece of fruit. In conjunction, we are initiating ongoing work to educate customers and consumers that this is another premium variety from Zespri they can depend on.”