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22 September 2021

10 fixes for the supermarket industry

What’s needed to fix the grocery market.

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Valerie C.
26 Sep 2021
Supermarket pricing compared with overseas.

Before Covid I used to travel to England to visit my sister once a year. I have been staggered by the price difference of goods there compared to New Zealand. We are being screwed by our only 2 supermarket chains.

Brian W.
25 Sep 2021
Comparison with overseas

NZ has a population of 5M with 2 supermarket chains [both with several brands]. Australia has 25M people and 4 major chains. The UK has 7 major chains for a population of 66M. How does "adding more competition" or "breaking them up" thereby increasing overheads, and pushing up costs, help. The Warehouse tried and failed. Current NZ lockdown policies have hurt small business and helped the supermarkets. People vote with their cheque books. If they were dis-satisfied they shop elsewhere - but at some inconvenience. That said, there has to be change, but not with oppressive regulation.

David T.
25 Sep 2021
Break them up now

Don't waste time, don't believe their promises. Conflicts of interest cannot be 'managed', they need to be eliminated.
Our Commerce Commission, or whatever it was called back in the day, did Kiwis a massive disservice by allowing the 6 supermarkets to merge into 2, apparently(?) believing that the resulting 'increased buying power' would somehow benefit consumers!
Unbelieveable! It was always foreseeable that it would only benefit the 2 resulting chains; they can place huge markups on products, and threaten suppliers with blacklisting, meaning suppliers get screwed on price, are forced to produce products with the chains' labels on them, and have to adjust their ingredients and screw their own employees in order to survive.
Why is it that so many Kiwi brands can be bought cheaper in Europe than here?
Failure to take radical action right now proves that this is just political window-dressing; nothing will change.

Noreen M.
25 Sep 2021

Also they all demand that potato suppliers don't put best before date or even packed date.
They use the Julien calender to confuse the shopper.

F N G & Mrs B A M.
25 Sep 2021
Fair pricing

All goods have an ascertainable true production cost - materials, labour, transport. Then the seller adds a handling charge - their costs plus profit. Competition is meant to keep this element under control, but does it? And will a triopoly be any better than a duopoly? In my dreams I see a government with the guts to govern, to regulate profits on groceries and indeed all essential services. We are a country with a population about half the size of a single city in Europe or Asia; we don't need a plethora of participants in many areas of economic activity - just one, well regulated and held to performance criteria, including staff management, will do. And if their profits are unreasonable, tax them!

Michael W.
25 Sep 2021
Unit Pricing

At my usual supermarket, I can't read the unit prices, the typeface is so tiny

B A S.
25 Sep 2021
Another player needed

Especially during these covid levels when I suspect the supermarkets are creaming it. Manufacturers are getting around price increases by reducing the packet sizes.

Chris S.
25 Sep 2021
Prices been high for a long time, quality also very poor for our home grown meat.

I travelled around Europe for 3 months in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and UK. Prices were consistently one third to one half of price in NZ at that time. I had Strawberries or raspberries every morning for breakfast as price was around $2-3 (NZ) per punnet. Milk $1.50 per litre. Bread half NZ price. NZ meat half NZ price and much, much better quality. Today we get gristle, almost always, in our steak, Gristle> Really? not when I was young. I've stopped buying it. In UK I saw meat of a quality we never, ever see. I was shocked. Now prices simply crazy.

Bruce C.
25 Sep 2021
Warehouse and Aldi

Aldi in Australia have stated they are not interested in entering the NZ market. OK so why doesn't the NZ Warehouse owner access the Aldi products for a fee, and provide competition .

Neil S.
25 Sep 2021
Easy Ones First

What about returning to the days of requiring 'recommended retail price' to be printed by manufacturers on all pre-packaged goods - across the boards!
Neil S.

Peter C.
25 Sep 2021
Another competitor please!

What we actually require is another major supermarket chain to upset this comfortable duopoly. The government should seek to bring all these requirements in but also to facilitate another major competitor.

Lotte B.
25 Sep 2021
2-3 years to improve is too long

There’s no reason the two supermarket giants can’t make improvements in 1 year. 2-3 years is too long for consumers to prop up their profits. No one can afford it anymore

Werner P.
25 Sep 2021
Lot of comments, no action

Lots of comments and no action. This is the way governments is acting. It is not only supermarkets, it is the whole fuel market, the housing, the power, etc etc. Thank you Consumer for bringing this up