Fuss free Christmas with friends whanau and food top of Kiwis Wishlist
6 December, 2022
What do we all want for Christmas? According to the latest insights from Foodstuffs our top three wants this year are simple: relaxing with friends, hanging out with whānau and good food. Understanding what people want and how they shopped last year is key to how the Foodstuffs’ teams plan for Christmas, explains Chris Day, Foodstuffs Head of Customer Insights and Intelligence.
“We regularly survey our customers across PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square – and the desire for a simple, fuss-free Christmas is the main message we’re hearing, and our teams have been working hard to deliver this.”
It’s our pursuit of fresh, convenient, and easy-to-prepare foods driving some surprising Christmas trends across supermarket aisles. Last year, for the first time, salad bags proved to be the most popular produce item across the North Island, with over 2.3 million units sold in the 6-week run up to Christmas, that’s up 16% from the year before.
“Salad bags might not spring to mind when we think of Christmas shopping, but it demonstrates our customers are looking for fresh, no fuss, convenience during the holidays,” says Day. Salad bags are just one of the many fresh items that are popular, with tomatoes, avos, and cucumbers all appearing in the top 10 most sold produce items last Christmas across the North and South Island.
When asked, 47% of respondents said they’ll be sitting down to Christmas lunch around midday, rather than a big Christmas evening meal.
“When we understand that three quarters of us are having our main Christmas meal at lunchtime, it makes sense. After all, who really wants to spend all day, preparing a huge complex meal when there are some great simple and delicious alternatives?” Says Day.
To go with the salad this Christmas, two out of three Foodstuffs customers are planning to buy ham for their main protein - followed by chicken, lamb and fish with turkey trailing behind as our fifth choice.
“While for some traditionalists turkey may seem the only option, it’s not really a kiwi staple, in fact, last year we sold 37,500 turkeys across both islands. That means only about 1% of Aotearoa was eating turkey come Christmas day.”
Turkey eaters are well prepared – the vast majority of those sold were frozen turkeys, meaning they could be bought in advance, helping to avoid last-minute stresses.
A perennial kiwi favourite, last year’s big seller was the classic leg of lamb which Foodstuffs sold over half a million across the nation. Averaging about 1.5kg each, that's over 800 tonnes of lamb on Kiwi’s tables.
And the most popular time to shop for their Christmas day food needs? According to Foodstuffs customers, it’s 10 days before with a top-up shop closer to the big day for fresh items and most of us are planning to do this instore (82%).
This year with Christmas falling on a Sunday we recommend doing a big shop early in the week before the weekend rush to get the majority of the shopping done leaving time for a smaller shop and stock up on the fresh berries and perishables on the Friday or Saturday before Christmas.
“The great thing is our customers are recognising that frozen is a great way to be well prepared for Christmas, and our stores often see people do a bulk shop for the holidays earlier, some even in late November to help spread out the cost and their trips to the supermarket.”
There are some things that are better purchased closer to the time, says Day, with fresh cream sales spiking in the week before the big day. Last year, Kiwis whipped themselves into a frenzy with a 700% increase in sales of fresh cream across the North and South Islands.
As for Pavs, while they truly are a kiwi icon, they’re one not everyone can perfect at home which is why it’s not surprising there were over 15,000 readymade pavlovas sold last year (not counting the minis which are also a party hit). If you stacked that many pavs on top of each other, it’d be 4.5X the height of the SkyTower!
Foodstuffs is helping customers get the most out of their holiday season by offering lots of delicious festive options as well as helping kiwis get the most out of seasonal value.
“We have things like our delicious PAK'nSAVE Christmas menu for inspiration or our limited edition Spiegelau glassware at New World and a great full shopping range at Four Squares across the country wherever you may be for your break.”
For those looking to make this time even easier, Day recommends small tricks like making a list, shopping at off-peak times, and utilising the freezer to have options on hand over the festivities.
Christmas in numbers
(Across North and South Foodstuffs cooperatives in the 6-week Christmas period 2021)
- 75% of customers have their main Christmas day meal between 12-2 pm
- 379,031 boxes of scorched almonds sold (That’s enough for every teacher to get two boxes!)
- 15,035 ready-made pavlovas- more than 4.5X the SkyTower if you stacked them.
- 2.3M bags of salad sold in the North Island, an increase of 16% from the year before
- 574,771 legs of lamb sold – averaging 1.5kg each- that’s 862 tonnes of lamb!
- Only 1% of kiwis are planning to eat duck or goose this Christmas, compared to 63% of us planning to have ham
- 773 units of fresh cream sold in the week before Christmas- an increase of over 700% on weekly average
- The 8th of December is when most of us plan our Christmas Day menu, giving us 17 days to shop and cook, with the 15th being the peak time for people to buy their non-perishable and longer-lasting Christmas goodies.
TOP 10 produce items in the six weeks lead up to Christmas 2021 across PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square
Foodstuffs North Island
Foodstuffs South Island