New data reveals shoppers supportive of new safety measures for essential services and workers

Monday, 23 August 2021

New research shows New Zealanders are supportive of the Ministry of Health’s recent announcements for people aged 12 and over to be required to wear a face covering when visiting any essential services and for essential workers to be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Almost all shoppers are supportive of mandated face coverings while visiting an essential service, with 88% of respondents strongly agreeing with this decision. 

Steve Anderson, CEO, Foodstuffs South Island says, “We welcome the government’s mandate for customers and team members to wear face coverings as a way to keep everyone safe. We have seen good compliance since this measure was introduced earlier in the week and think this is great advice for New Zealanders who have already increased their mask wearing habits significantly.”

It is a government requirement that unless a person has an exemption, our staff and customers must wear a face covering while in-store and our teams will be managing this upon entry,” says Anderson.

An overwhelming 95% of New Zealanders somewhat or strongly agree that the Ministry of Health made the right decision to fast-track vaccinations for essential workers, including supermarket staff. 

Chris Quin, CEO, Foodstuffs North Island says, “Making it quicker and easier for our team and customers – whether they’re customer facing, in our supply chain, or our supplier partners – to stay safe and get a vaccination is the right thing to do and we fully support this opportunity for our essential workers. We appreciate the hard work of the Ministry of Health and the DHB’s around the country who got the priority vaccination service up and running in a way that works for each community and locally owned store.”

Foodstuffs shopper research shows customers are more worried about their health than they were during the first Alert Level 4 lockdown in March 2020 - with 67% somewhat or extremely worried this lockdown compared to 59% in the first week of lockdown in March 2020. 

Beyond wearing a face covering and seeing essential workers vaccinated, shoppers feel a lot safer visiting a supermarket when their trolleys and baskets are regularly cleaned (76%), have hand sanitiser available (64%) and see perspex protective screens at the checkout (57%).

It’s great we’re already delivering all of the measures our shoppers want to see during Alert Level 4. We know it’s a challenging time for New Zealanders and it’s important we’re listening and doing everything we can to make them, and our staff feel safe,” says Quin.

Finally, the research revealed shoppers think their supermarkets are performing well and are delivering well to the Alert Level 4 requirements.

Looking after our people and customers is our top priority which is why we have once again provided a 10 per cent bonus during Level 4 for our essential workers. We’re incredibly grateful for our teams, their whanau and the wider Foodstuffs network and all our customers who are all playing their part,” Quin ends.

The online survey consisted of 1,001 PAK’nSAVE and New World shoppers across New Zealand conducted between 19 and 20 August 2021.