is the edible fruit
of a cultivar group
of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa
between this and other species in the genus Actinidia
. It is marketed worldwide as kiwifruit but is more commonly called kiwi
in North and South America and in Europe.
The most common cultivars
of kiwifruit are oval, and about the size of a large hen's egg (5-8 cm long and 4.5-5.5 cm diameter). It has a hairy, dull green-brown skin that most people peel off before consumption. The flesh is bright green or golden with rows of small, black, edible seeds. The texture of the fruit is soft and the flavour is sometimes described as a mix of strawberry
, and pineapple
The fruit gets its name from a marketing strategy, naming it after the kiwi
, the national bird
of New Zealand
, where the fruit was first commercially popularised in 1959
by the New Zealand fruit-and-vegetable export company Turners and Growers
; previously it was known as the Chinese gooseberry
, but due to the Cold War
, the Chinese
label seemed unfit for popularization of the fruit in Western countries. Growers gradually adopted the name and in 1974
the kiwifruit became the official trade name.
In North America
, South America
, the "fruit" part of the name is usually dropped, and most people associate "kiwi" with the fruit rather than the bird. This usage can cause some minor confusion and tends to annoy or offend many New Zealanders. To minimize confusion about what a "kiwi" is—a bird, a fruit or a New Zealander—most New Zealand Kiwifruit is now marketed under the brand-name label Zespri
which is trademarked by a marketing company domiciled in New Zealand, ZESPRI International. The branding move also served to distinguish New Zealand kiwifruit from fruit produced by other countries who could cash in on the "Kiwi" name, as it was not trademarked.