Our History

At Foodstuffs we have a long, proud history that dates back to 6 July 1922 when the first Foodstuffs co-operative was formed in Auckland. Foodstuffs founder J Heaton Barker called together members of the Auckland Master Grocers' Association to discuss plans for the formation of a co-operative buying group. This group expanded in 1925 with the introduction of Four Square branding on members' stores.


Similar co-operatives were set up in other parts of the country including Wellington (1922) and Christchurch (1928) and Otago/Southland (1948). Initially the buying groups traded under different names, but in 1935 the name Foodstuffs was adopted by all the original co-operatives.

Since then the organisation has continued to evolve. There have been mergers over the years between the regional co-operatives to form two co-operatives. 

The evolution of Foodstuffs has included several key developments which have helped the organisation continue to grow. In 1963 the New World group was formed, and the PAK'nSAVE group began with the opening of the first store in Kaitaia in 1985.

Key moments in Foodstuffs' history:

  • 1923 - first co-operative formed in Auckland by J Heaton Barker
  • 1924 - Four Square branding on members' stores
  • 1928 - Christchurch co-operative formed
  • 1935 - all co-operatives renamed Foodstuffs
  • 1937 - Pams brand launched
  • 1948 - Foodstuffs (Dunedin) Ltd established
  • 1948 -  Four Square introduces New Zealand's first self-service retail grocery
  • 1949 - Foodstuffs (Southland) Ltd established
  • 1958 - Foodstuffs (Dunedin) Ltd and Foodstuffs (Southland) Ltd amalgamate to form Foodstuffs (Otago/Southland) Ltd
  • 1963 - New World group formed
  • 1964 - Foodstuffs purchases James Gilmour and Co Ltd
  • 1972 - Foodstuffs' jubilee year. Sales now exceed $60 million
  • 1985 - first PAK'nSAVE store opens in Kaitaia
  • 1988 - Foodstuffs (Otago/Southland) Ltd and Foodstuffs (Christchurch) Ltd merged to become Foodstuffs (South Island) Ltd
  • 1990 - collective wholesale turnover surpasses $2 billion
  • 1995 - Foodstuffs (Auckland) annual sales pass the $1 billion barrier for the first time. The three companies now share nearly 54 per cent of New Zealand's wholesale grocery business
  • September 1996 - launch of Fly Buys in New World
  • 2000 - collective wholesale turnover surpasses $4 billion
  • December 2002 - first fuel site established at Tamatea PAK'nSAVE
  • 2003 - Pams becomes sponsor of CanTeen
  • June 2007 - first self-checkout system in New Zealand introduced at Moorhouse Avenue PAK'nSAVE
  • 2008 - New World becomes an Elite sponsor of Netball New Zealand
  • 2010 - Gilmour's moves to owner/operator model
  • 2012 - Raewood Fresh purchased in South Island
  • 2013 - Foodstuffs (Auckland) Limited and Foodstuffs (Wellington) Co-operative Society Limited merge to become Foodstuffs North Island Ltd (FSNI).



New World Victoria Park owner hopes his win will inspire others

New World owner-operator Jason Witehira, the winner of the 2016 Outstanding Māori Business Leaders Award, is hoping his win will serve as an inspiration for other Māori men and women.

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