Emily Blumenthal, Head of Customer Experience Strategy & Data Intelligence at Foodstuffs NZ

Do the contents of your shopping trolley reflect your state of mind? Well, the contents of my cart generally tell a definitive tale so we decided to dig into our Clubcard data and see if this was the case with our customers.  The research resulted in a few surprises.

While people who are having a bit of a tough time tend to stock up on cigarettes, potato chips, confectionary and energy drinks for a quick pick-me-up, we found that happier folk tend to choose omega-rich proteins like salmon and avocados, flavoursome meat on the bone and natural grass-fed dairy products. They may top that off with a beer or wine.

Nutritional research repeatedly shows that products like salmon, walnuts and good quality dark chocolate are proven to give your mood a lift – while also giving your body a healthy dose of anti-oxidants – and eight out of the top 10 products that happy people tend to buy carry natural fats.

We dug a bit further with our Food for Thought team of nutritionists who weren’t surprised to see what was in a happier trolley. In the past there was an understanding that low-fat products were the healthiest choice but the benefits of consuming nourishing, unsaturated fats daily are now more widely known. Avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, olive and canola oil all contain healthy unsaturated fats. These help us to absorb vitamins, are highly satiating and improve brain function. Who doesn't feel happier when they are well satiated and able to think clearly?

It’s possible to eat high quality foods, even on a budget. For example canned line-caught salmon and tuna are just as nutritious as fresh Marlborough salmon, and significantly cheaper.  It’s a matter of looking out for specials, shopping for what’s in season and understanding what makes something taste great.  For example, skinless chicken breasts featured on our not-so-happy list, while chicken thighs appeared on the happy list. Bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks tend to be more affordable, easy to cook and very tasty, so they’re a pretty smart choice.

It’s worth noting that New Zealanders are amongst the happiest people in the world. In 2017, New Zealand retained its spot as the eighth happiest nation, in the United Nations World Happiness Report. New Zealand ranks just behind the Netherlands and Canada, but ahead of Australia and Sweden in the top 10 happiest nations.  At New World we’re delighted to be part of that.

Happy people

  • more likely to purchase FRESH FOOD including vegetables, fruit
  • more likely to DRINK Beer and Wine
  • more likely to purchase MEAT on the bone
  • more likely to purchase GOOD FATS including Dairy and Seafood
  • more likely to COOK/BAKE

Unhappy people

  • more likely to consume SUGAR – Confectionery, Carbonated & Energy drinks
  • more likely to consume BAD FATS – Potato Chips
  • more likely to own a PET – Pet Supplies, Cat Food
  • more likely to look for EASY meal options – Frozen meals, Prepared meals
  • more likely to SMOKE – Tobacco

Source: Clubcard Attitudinal Survey 2017, Foodstuffs National BI, October 2016 – February 2017. N = 37,911