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13 October 2023

Are MasterChef cookware products worth as much as New World claims?

New World has been giving away cookware to customers who collect stickers for the last few months, but there’s something about the promotion that has us raising one eyebrow.

The recommended retail price (RRP) New World has given some of the MasterChef cookware is higher than Coles supermarket in Australia did when they ran the same promo this year.

Here’s the difference between the Coles and New World RRPs.

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Note: All prices are in NZD. Australian prices are from the Coles supermarket promotion earlier this year. Coles prices have been rounded to the nearest dollar.

Even after applying the exchange rate, the New World RRPs are still higher than those Coles had. The casserole dish’s RRP of AUD$80 at Coles becomes about NZD$85 – much less than New World’s RRP of $160. That’s 88% more expensive.

Coles ran the promo until July this year, the same month New World launched theirs. At Coles, customers collected “credits” in their Flybuys account for every AUD$20 spent. At New World, customers get a sticker for every $20 spent. Buying some selected products could also get you a bonus sticker.

We asked Foodstuffs NZ, the owner of New World, how they set the RRPs for the promo and were told: “A number of factors were taken into account, including the price of comparable products in New Zealand. This exercise was carried out in consultation with the supplier of the cookware.”

Foodstuffs NZ said it understands the cookware in its giveaway is only available as part of the New World promotion. That may make the RRP seem redundant, but Consumer NZ’s head of research and advocacy Gemma Rasmussen said a high RRP on a promotion could encourage people to spend more.

“If you think a piece of cookware is worth $160 you might be willing to spend a bit more than you usually would at the supermarket to get your hands on it,” Gemma said.

“These promotions encourage people to stay loyal to their supermarket and spend to accrue stickers. To be eligible for a ‘free’ stirfry pan you have to spend $1,600 in-store. Foodstuffs need to be careful they’re not inflating the value of promotional items to drive supermarket spending.”

Our testing of pots and pans has shown the price of a product doesn’t correlate with quality. The best saucepan in our test is a $25 Kmart one. A $21 Kmart frypan also beats all the frypans we’ve tested, including Scanpan and Le Creuset ones that cost more than $300.  

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