Time to cut through the jargon and talk about choice

Monday, 18 October 2021

Supermarket talk can get confusing. Range reviews, SKUs, deletions, data insights. It’s hard to work out what it’s about and what it actually means. 

So, let’s start at the beginning - what we stock in grocery stores.  In total, across PAK’nSAVE, New World, Four Square and Gilmours, Foodstuffs North Island ranges 81,812 different products. In addition, in 2020 Foodstuffs North Island introduced a total of 9,014 new products across its stores. 

We know that top of mind for New Zealander’s is value and convenience, so we need to buy well for you, ensure the range on offer is easy to choose from, is in stock as much as possible and represents what you need.

Imagine going to buy a maple syrup for your pancakes and finding 100 different options on the shelf.  It would be hard to choose and take far too long to get just one item.  Not a good customer experience. 

Every week we have more than 2,100,000 customer visits across five generations of kiwis who come through our stores, or order online - all expecting to get great value and easily find the items on their shopping lists.

Because kiwi tastes and needs are constantly changing, we have to make sure we’ve got what they want, at the right price for them, every time they shop with us.  

What New Zealanders were buying 12 months ago is different from what they are buying today - and our changing ranges and our supplier partners have to keep up with that.  Not only do food tastes constantly change, just like fashion tastes, they also change seasonally and totally depend on people’s lifestyles and budgets.  

That’s why we have a comprehensive category review programme, which is about reviewing categories of goods we stock on a regular basis, using two years’ worth of shopping data and insights to make sure we are offering New Zealanders the best value we can within a category, across all of their different shopper needs.  

As a 100% kiwi owned co-operative, we proudly support local suppliers. For example, in our recent frozen food category review there were 133 successful suppliers in the frozen range review, and 93% of the suppliers manufacture in NZ, or are NZ owned businesses.

Our category review programme is about making sure all of our customers get what they want, when they want and at the price they think is fair value. We call it being customer driven and we want to be one of the most customer driven retailers in the world. The things we are doing are done by the world's best grocers.

Along with changing tastes and food trends we also have to invest to ensure we innovating to on convenience, value, sustainability and digital – all the areas our customers want us to drive hard on.

It’s a big goal for a kiwi co-operative, and one that our 330 store owners and 24,000 people in communities across North Island up for.  It will be a long journey, and we are investing over $50 million this year alone into innovations so we can keep improving.

On top of this we are constantly challenging ourselves to do better for New Zealanders and we are  committed to making changes that improve outcomes for customers. As part of this we recently made a number of commitments in our Market Study Action Plan.  

This action plan is focused on three core areas: meaningfully improving value for customers, developing a grocery code for the industry and improving the competitive landscape.

You can check out our Market Study Action plan here