Sales of golden kiwifruit increased 125% from 2016 to 2017. ( Zespri )

Golden kiwifruit sales more than doubled in 2017, with the SunGold variety from Zespri accounting for 80% of the category.

The New Zealand-based company set a record with 27.8 million pounds of golden kiwifruit sold, according to a news release.

“As our 2017 season comes to an end, we are looking forward to 2018,” Ben Hughes, general manager of the Americas, said in the release. “Zespri is already working with retailers to set up exciting programs for the 2018 season as New Zealand shipments begin arriving in May.

“We have plans to target 50% growth for the coming year and extend the season through Zespri-grown Italian fruit so consumers can begin to enjoy Zespri SunGold through winter,” Hughes said.

The company promoted the fruit with regional market development managers and consumer and retail marketing campaigns.

In addition, a promotion with Raley’s in northern California was successful.

“Our retail display contest resulted in a 400% increase in sales during the promotional period,” Sarah Deaton, North American marketing manager, said in the release. “The results were remarkable. We plan to expand the contest during our 2018 season.”