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:

  • 1922 - 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 
  • 1962 - Foodstuffs purchases Bell Tea Company 
  • 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 
  • 1992 – On The Spot convenience stores launch in the South Island
  • 1995 - Foodstuffs (Auckland) annual sales pass the $1 billion for the first time. The three companies now share nearly 54 per cent of New Zealand's wholesale grocery business 
  • 1996 - Launch of Fly Buys in New World 
  • 2000 - Collective wholesale turnover surpasses $4 billion 
  • 2002 - First fuel site established at Tamatea PAK'nSAVE 
  • 2003 - Pams becomes sponsor of CanTeen 
  • 2006 – Bell Tea rebrands to the Bell Tea & Coffee Company 
  • 2006 – Henry’s Beer Wine and Spirits stores launch
  • 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 
  • 2008 - Foodstuffs purchases 70 Liquorland stores from DB Breweries 
  • 2008 – Pams eggs become 100% cage free
  • 2008 – Foodstuffs launches Food for Thought; a free nutrition education programme that helps Year 5 and 6 primary school students make healthier food and lifestyle choices 
  • 2010 - Gilmour's moves to owner/operator model 
  • 2012 - Raeward Fresh purchased in South Island 
  • 2013 - Foodstuffs (Auckland) Limited and Foodstuffs (Wellington) Co-operative Society Limited merge to become Foodstuffs North Island Ltd (FSNI). 
  • 2013 - Foodstuffs sells shares in Bell Tea & Coffee Company to Pencarrow Private Equity 
  • 2014 - New World Clubcard launches in the South Island 
  • 2014 – New World becomes a Five-Star Sponsor of the Starship Foundation
  • 2015 - Liquorland purchases 21 liquor stores from The Mill Retail Holdings
  • 2015 - Foodstuffs launches 100% recyclable meat trays
  • 2016 - New World Clubcard launches in the North Island 
  • 2016 - Pams Finest launches 
  • 2017 - PAK'nSAVE Sticky Club launches in the South Island 
  • 2017 - New World announces ban on microbead products 12 months ahead of a government ban 
  • 2017 - Foodstuffs launches Fresh Collective by New World and PAK'nSAVE MINI in North Island 
  • 2017 - New World announces withdrawal of single-use plastic bags by end of 2018



Foodstuffs thanks customers for doing their part during lockdown and confirms cleaning protocols for stores

“On behalf of the Foodies team, I really want to thank New Zealand for resisting the urge to panic buy this time around. This really helps us deliver fully stocked shelves to all New Zealanders and ensures us amateur bakers have plentiful supplies of flour and as much TP as anyone could possibly desire,” says Chris Quin CEO Foodstuffs North Island.

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