Broccoli tops supermarket sales, but ‘plenty for everybody’

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Broccoli and bananas were among the most sought-after items yesterday, but supermarkets are reassuring the public they have plenty of all groceries in stock.

Christchurch Pak n Save
Photo: RNZ / Kim Moodie

The Foodstuffs supermarket chain, which operates New World, Pak’nSave and Four Square, has been holding extra volumes of key essential items in case of a lockdown and said there was plenty for everybody.

Speaking to Morning Report today, chief executive Steve Anderson told Corin Dann there was enough for everybody, especially if everyone shops normally.

“We’ve got plenty of everything really, but we did get hit yesterday. I just looked at the figures this morning, we were up 80 percent on what a normal Tuesday would be,” Anderson said.

He said toilet paper was not the most popular item, with customers prioritising fresh food instead.

“Quite interesting, a lot of really fresh produce like bananas, broccoli, et cetera.”

He said they were working to fill gaps in supply thanks to the increased demand, but supermarkets had done this before.

“The Delta variant’s put another spin on it, but we’ve had a lot of plans ready and waiting so we had to put those into place.

Foodstuffs chief executive Steve Anderson worries for his workers, many of whom are younger and would not have been vaccinated.
Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

“We’ve got social distancing in our stores, PPE et cetera, and people should be wearing masks as much as possible.

He worried however for the supermarket workers, many of whom would not have been vaccinated, and he had been talking to the government about that.

“The more people get vaccinated, the sooner the better.

“A lot of checkout staff are younger people and they’re way down the list. We need to be looking at that prioritisation list as a result of delta.”

Top 20 supermarket items sold at Foodstuffs stores yesterday:

  • 1. Broccoli
  • 2. Bananas
  • 3.Value 2L milk
  • 4. Avocado
  • 5. Pams butter
  • 6. Combo deal
  • 7. Crumpets
  • 8. Brown paper bags
  • 9. Oranges
  • 10. Mandarins
  • 11. Eco bags
  • 12. Toilet paper
  • 13. Value 3L milk
  • 14. Carrots
  • 15. Chicken breast fillets
  • 16. Branded 2L milk
  • 17. White toast bread
  • 18. Small eco bags
  • 19. Multigrain toast bread
  • 20. Pams baby spinach

RNZ has approached Countdown supermarkets for comment.

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