Susan Noritake has been promoted to head of sales North America as Orange County, California-based Zespri continues its expansion plans for the kiwifruit brand. Noritake brings extensive experience and market knowledge to this role during a pivotal period of Zespri’s continued accelerated growth in the North American market.
“We are very pleased to announce Susan’s much deserved promotion,” said Dan Riley, market manager for North America at Zespri. “She’s had a very successful track record in her position as a market development manager, where she built incredibly strong account penetration and delivered exceptional growth for Zespri Kiwifruit varieties. She has been instrumental in our sales growth.”
As a team member since 2016, Noritake helped drive the growth in major retail accounts including Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods and Albertsons. In addition to building outstanding customer relationships, she has worked with cross functional partners in operations; developed winning strategies at retail with Zespri’s shopper and consumer marketing teams; and helped drive key account focus with Zespri’s distributor partners.
“I am excited to assume this new role and to continue the strong sales growth of our amazing kiwifruit. Consumers love the taste of our kiwifruit varieties, especially SunGold, and helping our retail partners develop custom programs designed for their shoppers is rewarding. It is important for shoppers to find our highly nutritional kiwifruit at the store level. We have new packaging and displays to support this effort in addition to our exciting consumer promotion to help drive shoppers to stores,” said Noritake.
Prior to joining Zespri, Noritake held various sales and marketing leadership roles with Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. and Mann Packing Co. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business marketing from California Polytechnic State University and an MBA with a focus in strategic planning from Pepperdine University.
Zespri looks forward to the success of Noritake in her new position and to the new season as Zespri Kiwifruit reaches retail shelves this month. Retailers are encouraged to contact Noritake or Zespri’s sales reps to develop customized promotional and merchandising programs to drive sales.