How did the kiwifruit get its name?

They’re the juicy seasonal fruit we all know and love. Eaten in halves with a spoon to scoop the green goodness out or bitten into like an apple - furry skin and all! But despite their name, kiwifruit aren’t native to New Zealand. The first seeds were brought to New Zealand in 1904 by a school principal who had been visiting schools in China. At first, people thought they tasted like gooseberries, so growers began to call the new fruit the ‘Chinese gooseberry’.

But after attempting to export the fruit internationally in the 1950s, growers soon realised they needed a more catchy name for the fruit to be marketed successfully in the United States. So, after a bit of a brainstorm for new names, the small, round, furry, brown fruit was named after the similar-looking national bird!

Quick Facts:

  • The Bay of Plenty town, Te Puke, is New Zealand’s home of the kiwifruit - with most of the country’s kiwifruit being produced in and around the area
  • Kiwifruit plants are either male or female, and bees are used to pollinate the plants
  • You can get golden and green varieties of kiwifruit
  • The zingy green fruit have as much potassium as bananas and more Vitamin C than oranges