As New Zealand pulls together in the fight against COVID-19 the Foodstuffs co-operatives are acutely aware of the grocery needs of New Zealanders and the requirement for its supermarkets to continue delivering great value on much needed food and other essential items. Its members and their teams are proud to be able to serve New Zealand during these challenging times, they take this responsibility seriously and understand that expectations are high.

"PAK'nSAVE nationally continues to have New Zealand’s lowest grocery prices. Our price promise of lowest grocery prices is something the brand remains 100% committed to even during these challenging times, customers should rest assured the business is working hard to deliver on this promise every day," said Foodstuffs.

"Our New World stores are focused on providing fair value to our customers every day and the teams have worked hard to maintain specials and keep prices fair for shoppers.  The New World brand remains committed to this for its customers throughout the lockdown period. Prior to COVID-19, an average week would consist of ~45% of items bought by customers would be on promotion, in the last week this number dropped slightly to ~40%. This reduction was primarily driven by increased customer demand leading to pressure on supply and reduced availability."

On a normal week New World would have close to 5,000 items on promotion, plus many thousands of in-store promotions that customers enjoy. "In the last week we had 4,800 products on promotion, which considering the incredible circumstances we have found ourselves in is a phenomenal effort both from our suppliers, the New World team and our supply chain,” said Chris Quin, CEO, Foodstuffs North Island.

The outlook is challenging. Suppliers have been under intense pressure for weeks now. Globally, countries are in lockdown and borders are shut which means products New Zealand may have had a ready supply of simply might not be available in the short term.

“This isn’t a concern for New Zealand as we have plenty of products grown and produced here, but we have to remember we are coming out of a long hot summer, one which put a large part of New Zealand into drought. This had a huge impact on our farming community and growers, so customers need to appreciate the usual seasonal supply and demand pressures still exist,” added Quin. “We are committed to doing our level best to keep prices low, but the reality exists that if you buy a cauliflower in March you are buying it out of season, on the back of a drought – it will not be cheap. Broccoli on the other hand, is a great buy at the moment.”

“We are working closely with our suppliers to keep promotions going, next week we are looking at group-wide promotions which are just slightly down from normal. This is driven by the fact suppliers simply do not have enough products to deliver on normal promotional levels – they are either out of stock or nearly out of stock," said Steve Anderson, CEO Foodstuffs South Island.

“Overall our suppliers have done an incredible job but some products are now in short supply and the supplier community needs a bit of time to build the reserves back up so they can deliver on the promotional numbers we would normally offer.”

“We are incredibly proud of our business and our teams who have worked tirelessly over the last five weeks to ensure New Zealanders grocery needs have been met. Safeguarding our team’s safety and wellbeing remains critical and the challenges faced now that we are in Alert Level 4 remain significant. Our people continue to do us and New Zealand proud as they work to put groceries on the shelf for New Zealand and for that we are incredibly grateful,” concluded Anderson.