Stellar Distributing of Madera, CA, is a leading importer of Italian and Chilean kiwifruit with conventional and organic California kiwifruit. Now they’ve added a kids’ kiwifruit program to promote healthy eating among children.
“We have started shipping these new kiwi kid bag styles, and the idea is to grab the attention of parents in grocery stores with our convenient pack styles to try to appeal to the health-conscious parent,” Sales Manager Kurt Cappelluti said.
Stellar ships conventional and organic kiwis out of California. With the California kiwifruit season just around the corner, Cappelluti said the harvest season has come on sooner because of a warmer, drier summer. Harvest will begin late September with good volume in early October. He expects to have greater quantities of 30s and larger sizes than the northern crops, and will also have a heavier amount of 33s and smaller.
“We have a 54-acre conventional ranch and a nine-acre organic ranch in Madera that supply us with a large amount of the kiwi that we deal in every year, which annually comes out to about 800,000 nine-kilo boxes per year,” Cappelluti said. “We are as capable as anyone in the United States to supply any customer at any time of the year with kiwi because we have continual supplies, whether it be from Italy, Chile or California.”
Stellar Distributing has expanded considerably over the last few decades. It ships around 2.5 million nine-kilo boxes per year. Over 20 years ago, the company started with the California kiwi deal and has since expanded into the imported kiwi deal.
“We had two to three times the import volume compared to the last two years and we have ordered more containers accordingly,” Cappelluti said.
Stellar has shipped New Zealand, Greece and France kiwi in the past and are open to doing more with these countries to broaden their supply and reach more customers.