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Is Kiwi Green a color?

Is Kiwi Green a color?

The color kiwi green is a unique and interesting shade that conjures images of the fuzzy green fruit or the native bird of New Zealand. But is kiwi green truly a distinct color with an official name? Or is it more of a descriptive phrase referring to various shades of green? In this article, we’ll explore the origins and meaning of the term “kiwi green” and examine whether it can rightly be considered an actual color. From its use in design and marketing to its scientific specifications, we’ll cover all the key considerations in determining whether kiwi green is simply a descriptive phrase or an official color in its own right. So read on to learn the intriguing facts around this crisp, verdant hue.

What is Kiwi Green?

When most people think of kiwi green, the image that likely comes to mind is the fuzzy, bright green flesh of the kiwifruit. Native to China but popularised by New Zealand, the oddly-shaped fruit with the emerald interior is the source of inspiration for the color name. However, kiwi green can refer to a range of shades that evoke the hues of the fruit. It sits in the yellow-green to green spectrum and is generally considered a vivid, medium-light tone. Specific definitions include:

  • A yellowish green with dominant wavelengths between 500-570 nm
  • Hex code #C6E17C
  • RGB values (198, 225, 124)
  • CMYK values (50, 40, 0, 0)
  • A medium, bright hue halfway between green and chartreuse

So while there isn’t one standardized specification, kiwi green generally refers to a lively, golden-tinged green reminiscent of the fruit. It has a youthful, cheerful essence that brands often draw on in marketing and design.

Origins and History

The kiwifruit originated in China and was known as the Chinese gooseberry until it was renamed the kiwifruit in the 1960s for export purposes. The fruit was introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th century and was popularised globally by New Zealand exporters, hence the fruit’s association with New Zealand and the kiwi bird.

While the fruit was simply called Chinese gooseberry for many decades, the first recorded use of the color name “kiwi green” wasn’t until 2001. It began appearing in paint brands like Behr to market the vivid shades reminiscent of the interior fruit flesh. Other early uses in marketing included brands like Dole and Chiquita referencing kiwi green packaging. By the mid 2000s, kiwi green became more ubiquitous as a descriptor for the characteristic fruit shade.

Year Kiwi Green Milestones
Early 1900s Kiwifruit introduced to New Zealand
1960s Fruit renamed from Chinese gooseberry to kiwifruit for export
2001 First recorded use of the color name “kiwi green” by paint brand Behr
Mid 2000s Kiwi green appears more widely in product marketing and branding

So while the fruit has been around for over a century, kiwi green as a distinctive color name is a more modern concept that emerged in the early 2000s.

Kiwi Green in Design

In design and marketing, kiwi green is a popular choice to cultivate a natural, energetic brand image. Its bright, golden-green tones feel fresh, healthy and youthful. Kiwi green evokes feelings of renewal and vitality without being as intense as neon shades.

Retailers and brands that use kiwi green hope to convey notions like natural wellbeing, sustainability, wholesomeness and vibrancy. For example, Whole Foods uses various shades of kiwi green in its logo and branding to emphasize the organic, farm-fresh nature of its produce. Other health and wellness brands follow similar reasoning in adopting kiwi green in their visual identities.

Kiwi green also appears across other industries, though still leveraging its lively essence. Technology brands sometimes incorporate kiwi green accents to cultivate a forward-thinking yet approachable image. Children’s products may use kiwi green to seem spirited but not overstimulating. Clothing and home goods can also utilize kiwi green in ways that feel upscale yet down-to-earth.

Across contexts, kiwi green strikes a balance of being energetic without seeming artificial or garish. When used intelligently, it can make brands appear grounded in nature while still feeling contemporary and bright.

Kiwi Green vs. Other Greens

While kiwi green denotes a fairly specific range of shades, it’s still helpful to compare it against other common greens. Here’s how it stacks up:

Kiwi green vs. lime green: While both are medium-light greens, lime green is much more intense and leans towards the yellow spectrum. Kiwi green is softer and a true mix of yellow and green.

Kiwi green vs. mint green: Mint green is cooler and crisper, with more blue undertones. Kiwi green is warmer and more golden.

Kiwi green vs. olive green: Olive green is decidedly darker and muted. Kiwi green is much brighter in saturation.

Kiwi green vs. jade green: Both nod to green gemstones but jade is deeper and teal-tinged. Kiwi green is light and yellow-based.

Kiwi green vs. chartreuse green: Kiwi green sits in the middle between chartreuse and true green. Chartreuse is distinctly more yellow.

So while similar in the green family, kiwi green has a more balanced, radiant personality all its own. It maintains its distinctive essence between warmer yellow-greens and cooler true greens.

Kiwi Green in Science

Scientifically speaking, color is determined by specific wavelength ranges within the visible light spectrum. The wavelength range for kiwi green sits right between yellow and green. But there are a few science-backed ways to arrive at a more standardized specification:

  • OSA Uniform Color Scales – 505 nanometers
  • Natural Color System – 3060 G
  • Pantone – 375 C
  • Munsell Color System – 7.5GY 7/10

Based on these color standards, kiwi greenâ€TMs scientific specifications land in the yellow-green wavelengths of around 505 nm on the visible light spectrum. This positions kiwi green as a distinctly medium, yellowish-green tone according to scientific color analysis.

Additionally, researchers investigating the optical properties of kiwifruit flesh defined kiwi green specifically as hexadecimal color code #C6E17C. This lines up with handheld colorimeter measurements of ripe kiwifruits. So while the scientific community acknowledges minor variation in kiwifruit hues, optical research affirms that #C6E17C is an accurate representation.

Is it an Official Color?

Based on all the evidence, can we definitively say that kiwi green is an official color? While it does not have the same universal recognition as hues like red and blue, kiwi green appears to qualify as a legitimate color term according to several criteria:

  • It evokes a specific range of shades in human perception
  • It occupies a distinct slice of the color spectrum
  • It has documented RGB/hexadecimal values
  • It is included in official color compendiums and standards
  • It has been claimed as a trademark color by Resene paints

Additionally, kiwi green has gained currency as a descriptive color term in marketing and design over the past two decades. While it originated as a reference to the fruit itself, kiwi green now conveys a distinct set of greenish-yellow hues in line with the fruitâ€TMs flesh. Based on both technical specifications and general consensus, kiwi green appears to have achieved distinct color status.


In the end, kiwi green occupies a unique spot in the broader color spectrum – neither a generic category like “light green” nor as universal as classics like crimson and navy. But based on its specific wavelength range, scientific measurement, and adoption in design and marketing, kiwi green likely warrants recognition as an official, solitary color. It evokes a precise mood and aesthetic that brands harness to convey sensations of health, vibrancy and natural quality. So next time you’re contemplating shades for a design project or describing a verdant tone, consider kiwi green – more than just a fruit reference but a color in its own right.