Wet spring brings upside for summer fruit lovers

Difficult spring weather is likely to have a positive flip side for New Zealand-grown apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines and cherries, which are now beginning to appear in store.

Summerfruit NZ said pollination in some crops has been patchy - and, combined with the recent wet weather, means overall crop volumes are likely to be down. 

"It has been a very strange start to summer and not kind to summer fruit growers," said Summerfruit NZ chief executive Marie Dawkins.

"But chances are the fruit will be bigger and likely to have better flavour because the trees are supporting less fruit.

"A lighter crop load is not necessarily a bad thing and may result in fantastic fruit if the weather plays its part."

She said Kiwis will have to be in quick as there's only a 12-week window before these delicious fruits will disappear for another year. 

"It's definitely a case of getting them while you can."

Meanwhile Paula Dudley, general manager at the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust, said eating summerfruit is an excellent way to increase intake of fresh fruit and vegetables and ensure you are getting five or more servings a day.

"Enjoying fruit while it's in season is the best value and will also help reduce your disease risks," she said.

"Apricots, for example, are a great source of dietary fibre, niacin, vitamins A, C and E, and also contain potassium," said Ms Dudley. 

Recent studies suggest that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables may help people lead longer lives.