New Zealand kiwifruit growers are reporting very high levels of dry matter, a measure of the fruit’s sweetness.

As a result, this year’s crop is the best-tasting in years, according to a news release from Mount Maunganui, New Zealand-based Zespri International Ltd., the exclusive exporter of New Zealand kiwifruit.

The dry matter levels are the highest in Zespri’s history, thanks to record sunshine in the Bay of Plenty region, where more than 80% of New Zealand kiwifruit is grown.

“Our customers are telling us that this is driving very strong repeat purchasing by consumers,” Glen Arrowsmith, Zespri’s global marketing manager, said in the release. “Consumer research has confirmed that the higher levels of dry matter increase both consumers’ enjoyment of the fruit and their intention to purchase again.

“Our marketing teams have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the fantastic taste across all varieties of Zespri kiwifruit, which has helped kick off a really strong start to the 2013 selling season,” Arrowsmith said in the release.