Figures reveal what products Kiwis sought during lockdown

Author
Luke Kirkness, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Jun 2020, 4:58PM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Figures reveal what products Kiwis sought during lockdown

Author
Luke Kirkness, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 23 Jun 2020, 4:58PM

How much toilet paper did you go through over the lockdown?

Don't answer that but you might be surprised to learn that Countdown sold enough toilet paper to cover the distance to the moon and back.

The moon is just over 380,000km away from earth on average and multiplied by two that's a whopping distance of 760,000km.

In simpler terms, more than 21 million rolls of toilet paper were sold between the end of February and the end of May at Countdown alone.

Other popular products over the Covid-19 lockdown were flour, baking powder, yeast, avocados, hair dye, long-life milk, soy milk and tuna.

Flour was also a standout at Foodstuffs supermarket brands New World and Pak'nSave with increased sales over the lockdown period.

The Foodstuffs supermarkets sold 1.5 million kilograms during the four-week lockdown, compared to the 1.25 million kilograms sold at Countdown through March and April.

Sales of larger sizes of products, like three-litre milk bottles, were a popular choice for shoppers at Countdown over lockdown, meanwhile.

The supermarket also witnessed a change in how Kiwis shopped, most notably the move towards cooking from scratch and baking.

The sales of convenience products like ready-to-eat meals actually decreased over the lockdown period, Countdown said.

In May, Countdown's head of merchandise Steve Mills said Millennials and Gen Z's led the charge when it came to cooking and baking.

The average younger customer spent 51 per cent more on cooking and baking needs compared to the same time period in 2019.

According to a recent survey undertaken by Foodstuffs, 33 per cent of people said they would continue to do more baking at home.

Additionally, 36 per cent said they would keep doing more scratch cooking from home.

Hair maintenance was another focal point of the lockdown, with plenty of people around the traps sporting new looks after it ended.

There was an increase of 140 per cent for hair dye sales at Countdown, with sales for soap and body wash also increasing.

At Foodstuffs, people were still searching for hair dye products online as of the week ending June 14, suggesting people might be skipping the hair salon after the lockdown.

Customers also spent more on vitamins than usual.

Health by Habit vitamins and supplements sold so well some weeks it made up to 20 per cent of category sales.

"Vitamin C was the toilet paper of the vitamin and supplement category," Foodstuffs NZ's head of corporate affairs Antoinette Laird said.

Elsewhere, tuna was popular at Countdown, with sales increasing by 30 per cent, the equivalent to 200,000 tuna fish.

And more than 11,000 car fuel tanks could have been filled with the amount of soy milk sold which increased by 40 per cent.

Fresh products like fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products also sold well at Countdown.

Pet food, protein powder, dumplings, mango, and dairy/gluten-free products were the most searched for products on Foodstuffs websites for the week ending Sunday.

The week prior it was for the orange fairy dust, aka Cheetos, with soft drink searches rising also for the week ending June 14.