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What are the best supermarket chains in New Zealand?

By July 20, 2021July 31st, 2021No Comments

I have lived in New Zealand all my life and have spent a small amount of time living in Australia. I found that while I was across the ditch, supermarket chains like Aldi’s were far cheaper than any chain I found myself shopping at in New Zealand. The ones here however are excellent in terms of their variety and bulk buying capacities.

Pak’nSave

Pak’nSave is a discount-style supermarket and is always a great place to shop. The major highlight is their 1$ deals and their bargain boxes. I usually shop here often and will always shop for chicken at Pak’nSave.

They were founded in 1985 and are part of the 3 major supermarket chains in New Zealand. In 2017 they had 57 stores around New Zealand.

Their key policy is to provide everyday food at low prices which is their current marketing slogan. The layouts include concrete floors and big bulky shelves. It really is a no-frills environment but it’s one of the best places to shop. Pak’nSave has consistently been one of the cheapest supermarkets in New Zealand.

Pak’nSave Glen Innes was my go-to for a while where they stocked my favorite meat to curry, goat pieces.

They are part of Foodstuffs New Zealand.

Countdown

Countdown is one of New Zealand’s leading supermarket retailers with over 180 stores nationwide, serving 2.5 million customers each week. Countdown is our full-service supermarket chain owned by Woolworths New Zealand, a subsidiary of Woolworths Group in Australia. Countdown have very large stores on average. The first store opened in 1981 and since 2018 they have expanded to 180 stores. It is our largest supermarket chain.

A great example is the Countdown on 76 Quay Street is open 24 hours and has a private parking lot. It is such a massive supermarket and is one of the biggest we have ever been to. It’s very clean and organized and the free parking is a bonus. They have an extensive food section with many items in the international sections as well. Being in Auckland City it can be very busy at times. I remember one time during one of our lockdowns I was in the line for roughly 30 minutes because it’s so popular.

New World

New World Lunn Ave

New World is another full-service supermarket chain however they are each independently owned and operated and is part of Foodstuff’s co-operative. Other members of this group are Four Square and Pak’nSave.

New World was founded in 1963 and was an American-style supermarket brand that emerged in New Zealand. There is a total of 140 New World supermarkets across the North and South Island and they have been a member of Fly Buys since their beginning. New World uses a coupon system however it was replaced over the course of two years by their club card system.

They are part of Foodstuffs New Zealand.

Fresh Choice

Fresh Choice is a smaller locally owned chain and provides excellent shopping facilities. I don’t personally shop there often, but when I have been they have no shortage of stock. They have friendly service and an excellent range. They pride themselves in being locals and having a good idea of what kiwis need.

Being Locally owned and operated by people who are passionate about providing the best fresh food, great customer service and value for money. They are part of Woolworths New Zealand.

Four Square

Four squares motto is being 100% grassroots, knowing everything and every need when it comes to Kiwi’s. They are an iconic brand and stock groceries while being bigger than a dairy. They operate in 160 locations and have been around for 96 years. They operate in the smallest and largest of cities and are almost perfect for shopping at. While their prices might be higher than Pak’nSave for instance they are still excellent and convenient. There’s also a bit of nostalgia there with their logo.

According to Wikipedia the name Four Square emerged in 1920, when the founder Mr. Barker was on the phone to a buying group. He drew a square around the date 4 July 1924 and at that moment the logo was born.

They are part of Foodstuffs New Zealand.

Farro

Farro is a New Zealand-based business founded in 2006. The retail space was known for its higher-tiered items and showcased the very best and finest New Zealand food and produce. They started a store on Lunn Ave in Mount Wellington with a team of 12 and now operate in 6 different stores across Auckland. I remember the first one I saw was the one in Greenlane.

The team at Farro pride themselves on their cooking and are exploring new recipes and ingredients. They offer to share that experience with their in-house magazines which showcase their content.

Super Value

Locally owned and operated, providing quick and friendly service with a range that has everything you want and is just what you need.

They are part of Woolworths New Zealand.

Gilmours

Gilmours is our exception on this list as it’s a wholesaler. You will need a Gilmours card or be a member but they stock a huge range of food, alcohol and take pride in their cleanliness and packaging. They have been operating for almost 100 years and they are always willing to give their clients that edge in the commercial space.

They are part of Foodstuffs New Zealand.

Other smaller chains

Mt Roskill Fresh Supermarket

Mount Roskill Fresh Supermarket was our one-stop for fruit and veg at one time. It is slightly out of the way and if you don’t live in the area, get ready for a commute. It is definitely worth it, however, and the produce is always fresh and cheap. They have some amazing specials that happen weekly like the meat section. They have a great selection of fruit and veges and meats.

We don’t know what their origins are but they are excellent.

Fresh and Save

Fresh and Save is based in Manukau and is near the Vodafone Events Centre. They have seasonal fruit and vegetables and have a vast selection of frozen and packaged goods. There is an extensive international section and it also includes a bunch of variety in their spice area. There is free parking.

Mad Butcher

The Mad Butcher is a butcher chain around New Zealand that has been operating since 1971. Founded by Sir Peter Leitch they have been a household name providing kiwis with an excellent meat section. They stock all our big meat brands and their goods are always fresh. Shopping there as a child was awesome, mainly because the meat selection was always top-notch.

They have trained butchers who cut and package all meat on site which is the pinnacle in freshness.

Most of our biggest supermarket chains are excellent, Countdown, New World, Pak’nSave, Four Square, SuperValue, Gilmour’s, Fresh Choice to name a few. We have an excellent variety of other chains as well that have more niche items but also sporting an excellent amount of fresh produce as well. Our diaries here as well are usually stocked with those one-off items you need at 1 am in the morning, like bottles of milk, or chips. I really enjoyed shopping at Aldi’s and wished they came to Aotearoa so I could spend all my money there. In Australia, I was getting an entire weeks’ worth of food for one person, for roughly $70 from the supermarket. In Auckland, I usually spend upwards of $100 a week on food alone.