Kiwis Now Trust Supermarkets Less than Banks

According to new research from Consumer NZ, Kiwis now trust supermarkets less than the banking industry.

The percentage of those who said they did not trust supermarkets has risen from 17 percent in June last year to 32 percent. That was higher than banking industry in which 29 percent of those surveyed said they did not have trust.

Jon Duffy, Consumer NZ chief executive, said the decline in trust in supermarket was concerning.

"It's particularly concerning that consumer trust in a sector that is essential to our wellbeing as a nation, and is virtually impossible for consumers to do without, is seeing such a marked decline."

Duffy pointed to the rising cost of living and the Commerce Commission's supermarket market study as drivers for the decline in trust.

"The Commerce Commission's study into the grocery sector found the duopoly is consistently making profits in excess of what it should," he said.

Food prices rose 6.4 percent in the year to April 2022 and Consumer NZ’s research found New Zealanders are preparing themselves to spend more on groceries.

In June 2021 a quarter (24 percent) expected their groceries to increase. By April 2022, more than 40 percent (43 percent) anticipated an uptick in grocery expenditure. And concern about the price of food has jumped significantly.

Groceries went from the eighth biggest financial concern in June 2021 to third in April 2022, beaten only by rent and mortgage payments.

Consumer NZ is calling for measures to increase competition in the sector and has launched a petition which asks the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, David Clark, to go further than the commission's recommendations and bring about meaningful change in the sector.

To date, 74,000 people had signed the petition, and it was aiming for 200,000 signatures.