Foodstuffs North Island to remove Sealord from supermarkets for imported product

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 12 Oct 2021, 4:43PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Foodstuffs North Island to remove Sealord from supermarkets for imported product

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 12 Oct 2021, 4:43PM

There's plenty of fish in the sea for Foodstuffs North Island.

New World and Pak’nSave are removing most of Kiwi fishing company Sealord's range from freezers to make way for imported product.

The Food and Grocery Council says it will shrink Sealord's 80 per cent local market share to less than 20 percent.

Chief executive Katherine Rich told Heather du Plessis-Allan it has decimated their range.

“I just don’t think Foodstuffs understand the impact of their decision on consumers or the company. It’s just really symptomatic of the current duopoly we have.”

Foodstuffs North Island released a statement to Newstalk ZB:

"The claims made by the Food and Grocery Council in regards to the outcome of Foodstuff North Island’s (FSNI) recent frozen range review are false and deliberately misleading. 

Sealord's frozen fish products are not being removed to “make way for imported products like Alaskan pollock” as claimed. In fact, the raw material source in the new range of frozen products is New Zealand Hoki.  Only as a last resort would fish from outside New Zealand be used in these products when the supply of fish from New Zealand does not cover demand.  This is no different to any seafood sourcing company. 

Sealord’s range has not been ‘decimated’ or ‘deleted’ as a result of the review as claimed. The Sealord’s frozen products that will remain on shelf after the review represent over 70% of their current frozen sales to FSNI. 

The claims that the range review decisions were made only for profit or margin reasons are false.  

Our range review process is guided by a range of customer data and insights to deepen our understanding of customer needs, customer loyalty, brand loyalty and customers’ willingness to buy alternative products within a category. 

This is part of FSNIs customer-driven business transformation journey which began in 2019 with the aim of making sure we are offering New Zealanders more of what they want and the best possible value in our supermarkets.   

To do this, we’re reviewing our range  category by category, with the ultimate aim of making it easier to shop in our stores - and making sure we’re offering the products that matter most to our customers.   

We’ve recently reviewed the range of products we offer in the frozen category.  In the frozen fish category we had 62 products in our range and we found 20% of these made up 80% of the sales.  There was also a lot of duplication of similar products, restricting the opportunity for our suppliers to introduce new products for our customers to try. 

We have a longstanding relationship with Sealord and we absolutely value them as a supplier. The products we have selected to range for our customers are those our customers told us they wanted the most. 

Specifically looking at Sealord’s range, they offered two proposals through the range review process. The first of these had a number of conditions attached including them alone securing 90% of the range and proposed increasing retail prices to our customers. This fell short in providing a competitively priced offer to our customers and was not a scenario we could accept. An alternate proposal was also  made by Sealord, which we accepted and in doing so we were transparent in regards to the ranging we could provide in return.  

As a 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operative, our priority is to offer fish which is locally caught and the vast majority of our frozen fish ranged in our stores will continue to be sourced from New Zealand waters. 

For more information please see https://www.foodstuffs.co.nz/news-room/clearing-up-a-fishy-tale"

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