Lockdown's biggest supermarket sellers: Kiwis go bananas

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Aug 2021, 3:01PM
Bananas are the most purchased item across the country's supermarkets. (Photo / Anna Leask)
Bananas are the most purchased item across the country's supermarkets. (Photo / Anna Leask)

Lockdown's biggest supermarket sellers: Kiwis go bananas

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Aug 2021, 3:01PM

Kiwis have gone bananas - for bananas - in the first few days of lockdown shopping at supermarkets.

And if you piled on some extra pounds during previous lockdowns, healthier options are also going into trolleys, with people perhaps recalling the expansion of waistlines.

Across the country the biggest selling item at two of the major supermarkets has been bananas, followed closely by broccoli, avocados and milk.

Supermarket sources say it had long been rumoured that Kiwis consume more bananas per person than almost any other country.

And the lockdown shopping trend seems to back that up.

Foodstuffs spokeswoman Antoinette Laird said shoppers were picking up similar items in the North and South Islands as they navigated the second national Level 4 lockdown.

"Across our New World and Pak'nSave stores in the North and South Island, we have seen a continuation of shopping trends from the night before lockdown where shoppers were keen to buy everyday grocery items," Laird said.

"Our ongoing love affair with the banana has continued as it took out the number one spot across both the North and South Islands.

"Unsurprisingly, with more than a million millennials nationwide, avocados graced the top five for both islands, coming in second and fifth respectively."

Laird said as Kiwis hunkered down at home Foodstuffs stores had seen "popular winter produce charge up the list".

"Our shopping baskets yesterday included root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and orange kumara and the humble onion is up there as cooks tackle dinner at home in the absence of restaurants and takeaways. 

"Memories of previous lockdowns, and the extra kilos a few of us came out with, may still be on people's minds because it seems New Zealanders are embracing leaner meat options with chicken in its various forms featuring in the Top 20.”

Laird said there was one surprise item on the list.

"Last but certainly not least the humble crumpet of all things is in the top 20 suggesting families are throwing in a little breakfast treat – or maybe simply an anytime treat," said revealed.

"And frankly, who doesn't love a crumpet in all its dripping butter glory?"

She said customer demand was still higher than normal.

"It's great to see the most popular items purchased on Wednesday are the usual household goods we'd expect to see throughout the year," Laird said.

"We want to thank our shoppers for continuing to shop normal, sending only one shopper per household, using the QR codes and wearing a face covering while shopping.

"On behalf of our teams on the shop floor tēnā koutou and kia kaha Aotearoa.” 

Bread is one of the top selling items at New Zealand supermarkets during the current lockdown. Photo / Hamish Clark

Laird added that the top priority for Foodstuffs was to ensure the safety of customers and teams and keep stock on shelves for New Zealanders.

"Both co-operatives and our local owners are incredibly grateful for the critical work our teams are providing right now," she said.

Bonus payments for supermarket staff

Foodstuffs is also paying all its essential frontline, distribution and "a few other key employees" a 10 per cent bonus to their hours worked while in lockdown.

"We're extremely proud and appreciative of how our teams have jumped straight back into level 4 mode, operating during these times can be extremely difficult," said Foodstuffs North Island chief executive Chris Quin.

"Providing the 10 per cent bonus during level 4 is the right thing to do for our essential workers – it's a positive way we can show our gratitude for the critical work they're providing right now to keep everyone safe and keep stock on shelves."

South Island CEO Steve Anderson added: "We recognise the closure of education and childcare facilities is an additional challenge for some of our essential team members and we are working closely with these individuals to make special arrangements.”

Countdown did not respond to the Herald about its top selling items.

Earlier this week a spokeswoman said the chain's produce buyers had purchased an extra 2000 crates of fresh fruit and veges - to not only boost its fresh produce supply, but also to "help out growers who would have normally been selling to hospitality businesses and ensure food doesn't go to waste".

"There will be a few gaps on shelves, but our store and supply chain teams are working to quickly reorder and restock what is needed and we've had huge support from our transport carriers and suppliers to help get food around the country quickly for our customers.

"Our limit of six on some products in our Auckland and Coromandel stores will remain in place and include: toilet paper, flour, bags of rice, dry pasta, UHT milk, frozen vegetables, baby formula, pet food.

"We'll monitor stock levels around the country and will make changes to limits if we need to."

Top 20 products - North Island - New World, Pak'nSave

Bananas

Avocado

Paper checkout bag

Broccoli

Value 2L milk

Skinless chicken breast

Carrots

Chicken drumsticks

Brown onions

Online bag fee

Butter

Value white toast bread

Pam's butter

Value 3L milk

Capsicum

Value white toast bread

Crumpets

Potatoes

Value 2L lite milk

Cucumber

Top 20 products - South Island - New World, Pak'nSave

Bananas

Broccoli

Brown paper bags

Value 2L milk

Avocado

Mandarins

Pam's butter

Pam's baby spinach

Multigrain toast bread

New World grocery shopping bag

Onions

Carrots

Crumpets

Oranges

White toast bread

Chicken breast fillets

Beef mince

Orange kumara

Butchery packs

Butter 500g