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Survey
8 April 2021

Supermarket survey: shoppers doubt ‘discounts’ are real

Our survey finds the majority of Kiwis think they’re paying too much for groceries.

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Cathrine L.
01 Sep 2021
New World vs Countdown

I believe that New World is owner operated.
I realise they will pay for being under New World's umbrella but unlike Countdown who, I believe, are fully operated by Countdown, New World are able to run their shops independently.
Is this correct?

Gloria T.
27 Apr 2021
Shopping at the 1 local Supermarket

We only have 1 local supermarket here where I live. So what’s the odds of buying cheaper anywhere else. I buy for convenience from their. I’d have to travel 1.5 hrs away to go to a city by bus.

Kas S.
11 Apr 2021
I actually save money at my local Countdown

As their shelves are low to almost empty every week. Worse when I buy something regardless of price and they decide to put it on a so called "special". I buy there for convenience more than anything else as I'll have to travel to get to another being a Rural Town. Buying online isn't an option as it comes from the same branch and you get something optional when they don't have it. Very frustrating when it's out of stock for weeks on end hence I tend to buy it weekly when I can get it otherwise I run out, so my pantry is full of boxes of Dentastix and dog biscuits!!

Alan
11 Apr 2021
Think of the Suppliers

I can fully understand the focus on supermarket pricing as it directly affects our pockets, but I think we should keep in mind the effect the duopoly has on prices paid to suppliers, especially fresh food suppliers from within NZ. In the not too distant past we had insights into how unscrupulously the supermarkets screw suppliers, including reasonably large industries, by use of threats of buying from others, charging for prime shelf allocation, requesting payment for making orders etc. Driving down prices paid to suppliers inevitably means lower quality more highly processed food or making food growing businesses marginal to the point of subsistence profits (if any). To me lower supply prices and ever increasing prices charged to consumers means increased and unreasonable profits, more money spent on wasteful advertising (the Consumer survey shows that advertising seems to have minimal influence on supermarket choice), mostly unnecessary spending on brand promotion, and all those activities which enable fat cat operators to clip their share of the ticket. Supermarkets have cunningly managed to get us consumers and suppliers to pay their cost of doing business, and, to add insult to injury, meet the cost of the supposed "reward" schemes. My greatest concern is that the Commerce Commission inquiry will be another example of a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket (witness the non-effect on the petrol market) and that nothing will slow the rapacious behaviour of our supermarkets.
By the way, did anyone notice that the newish brand 'Fresh Choice' is owned by Foodstuffs and is sewing up the market in smaller districts which cannot sustain a bigger supermarket.

Phil B
11 Apr 2021
Bring on Costco and Aldi

Without doubt there is a cosy duopoly in the NZ grocery trade. Foodstuffs is hugely dominant with its two big supermarket brands plus smaller Four Square and dairy franchises. Thanks goodness for online shopping and the growth of Asian food retailers who do provide a few other options for things like fresh spices. Food is such a major expense for Kiwi families that I applaud everything Consumer can do to improve the situation. Unit pricing should be in a MUCH bigger font at supermarkets to help shoppers understand how to spend their money wisely. I look forward to Costco's eventual arrival and - hopefully - Aldi in the future.

Tony T.
10 Apr 2021
Lack of competition is key

The competition between supermarket chains in the UK (where I used to live) has been quite fierce in recent years. A good deal of this can be attributed to the arrival of the European discounters Aldi and Lidl, who have really forced the established chains to up their game. From visiting rellies in Brisbane, I can see that Aldi have shaken up the cosy setup of Woolworths and Coles over there. Their offer is of very good quality. NZ needs more competition in this market. I'd love it if Aldi moved in here. Why not, if they can set up in Australia?

roy s.
10 Apr 2021
Cost of living

When I moved back to NZ from Sydney I noticed the differences in the cost of living immediately. Food was around twenty percent dearer here and power and telco prices were more than thirty percent dearer. Fuel was also significantly more expensive. Add to that the fact that wages are lower here and it is not difficult to see why so many people here are struggling. Housing was just as expensive over there, but because of the excellent public transport system over there, you could choose to live in a cheaper area without being too negatively impacted by transport costs. I understand that we live in a smaller market with a wider geographic spread than Sydney, but I feel that we are definitely being taken advantage of.

John Boyes
10 Apr 2021
Prices

NZ is a small country, population widely spread, I can understand the lack of outside retailers as our market is so small and freight costs astronomical its not viable . In the South Island I can pay the same price for an item wether I am in Nelson or Invercargill...not a bad deal really. Special prices? you can't have much happening in your life if this is all you have to worry about.

Donna M.
17 Apr 2021
Really

Not everyone is in a position where specials don’t make a difference. Many workers earn below the living wage. When I was living in poverty (nz definition) I often didn’t eat so my child didn’t go without. Specials can be the difference between 3 meals a day or not for many families and our elderly.