The colloquially named “kiwi fruit” is closely associated with its country of origin, New Zealand. Before it was introduced to New Zealand by a teacher in 1904 after a stay in China, it was known as the “Chinese gooseberry”. Whatever its moniker, it remains very popular. In 1952 it was exported for the first time from New Zealand to England, where it was unusually well received on the fruit market and it was soon exported to continental Europe and North America.
The name for this fruit was invented for marketing reasons in New Zealand in 1959 and is derived from the kiwi bird. “Kiwi fruit” was not however protected as a name, so it was soon used also for kiwi fruits grown outside New Zealand. Those grown in New Zealand are today sold under the brand name Zespri by the marketing organisation of the same name. It is however a little-known fact that all varieties of kiwi fruit actually originated in East Asia!