From ancient China to cutting-edge California, the story of kiwifruit is a rich and colorful saga for which new chapters continue to be written today. Enjoy this sweet, juicy stroll down memory lane!
Originally discovered in the Chang Kiang Valley of China, kiwifruit was considered a delicacy by the great Khans who relished its emerald green color and dazzling flavor. By the mid 1800s, the fruit had found its way into other countries which nicknamed it Chinese gooseberry, and it wasn't long before New Zealand growers were exporting the exotic fruit to specialized markets around the world.
Fast-forward to 1962, when a California produce dealer began importing New Zealand gooseberries to satisfy the request of a lone Safeway shopper. The dealer renamed the product "kiwifruit" because of its resemblance to the fuzzy brown kiwi — New Zealand's funny-looking national bird. By the late 1960s, California began producing its own kiwifruit in the Delano and Gridley areas.
Venida Packing entered the Kiwifruit business in 1980 and has been a industry staple ever since. California is a unique location for kiwifruit production as the high heat allows for the good production of dry matter in the fruit which lends it to a sweeter, more flavorful piece of fruit.
The Kiwifruit season runs from October through April in California and with the good volumes of production we are able to give season long programs for all customers. The "Ruby River" label has become synonymous with high quality California Kiwifruit. With the multitude of pack styles we will be able to cater to any customer need you may have: Tray Pack, Volume Fill, Bags, Clam shells and minibins.