What kind of Christmas food shopper are you?

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If you’re a foodie, Christmas can mean many things – one of which is getting the food organised! As a nation, Kiwis love Christmas, and there are some of us who like to get organised weeks in advance, stockpiling fruit cake, brandy snaps and fruit pies. But most of us leave our big shop to the last week or even the very last hours of Christmas Eve.

Countdown has revealed that many of the last minute items purchased for Christmas include presents, gift cards and wrapping paper, as well as a much needed bottle of wine or beer to get through all the present wrapping!

And for those of us who don’t have much fridge or storage place, or who want to have the freshest cream, strawberries, asparagus on the table come Christmas morning, shopping is squeezed into the last week before Santa arrives.

On the last seven days before Christmas 2016, Kiwi shoppers bought:

  • 9 milk tankers worth of cream – customers buy three times more cream during Christmas week than at any other time of the year
  • More than 42,500 packs of brandy snaps or baskets
  • 214 tonnes of ham, which is 42 times the weight of Auckland’s famous giant Santa on the old Whitcoulls building
  • More than 62,500 pavlovas; if we stacked all of these pavlovas on top of one another they would be 69 times the height of the Beehive
  • We sell more than 95,500 packs of Countdown fruit mince pies; if each fruit mince pie were stacked vertically they would be 35 times higher than the Sky Tower
  • More than 85,000 Christmas fruit cakes which we tend to prefer in the heat of the summer
  • More than 20,000 Christmas puddings
  • Vanilla and French Vanilla ice cream is our go-to ice cream to accompany dessert at Christmas
  • Broccoli is normally Kiwis number one vegetable but at Christmas sweetcorn and asparagus are our favourites
  • Countdown sales shows that strawberries are Kiwis number one Christmas treat closely followed by cherries; this year they expect customers will devour their way through 70 rugby fields of strawberries!
  • Our beer sales doubles in the last week before Christmas, as entertaining gets underway and the summer temperatures start to soar.
  • Kiwis love their boxed chocolates at Christmas time. We see packets of Favourites, Scorched Almonds and Roses flying off the shelves as our sales doubles in the last week before Christmas. It seems that chocolates are the go-to gift and accessory for Kiwis Christmas table.
  • Kiwis love their animals and like to spoil them at Christmas time. However dog owners are more likely to treat their dogs with a treat (we sold more than 45,000 treat packs) than cat owners (we sold more than 33,000 packs of treat). And according to research from the UK, pet owners are more likely to spend more on presents for their furry friends than their friends.


Countdown’s Acting General Manager Merchandise, Brett Ashley says New Zealanders are largely creatures of habit when it comes to Christmas food, so stores and suppliers have been preparing for months to ensure they keep up with demand for popular products.

“We have found that Kiwis are very traditional when it comes to their choices for their Christmas menu. Shoppers tend to be making meals based around a ham or turkey with roast vegetables or salad when the weather heats up. Salmon and creating dishes based around BBQ meats are also becoming popular as Kiwis search out a stress-free meal and one that involves everyone in the family pitching-in.

“I think it’s really interesting that while we tend to look for more convenience and ways to save time with food during other times of the year, at Christmas, while we’re often really busy, we still want to make our favourite meals and desserts from scratch. Some of the biggest selling products in the last week before Christmas are the ingredients for Christmas cake and trifle, strawberries, eggs and cream.”

From reviewing our sales data, we know that Kiwis are already preparing and baking their Christmas cakes and traditional Christmas puddings well in advance of December. In October, we had already sold more than 3000 packs of fruit mince and a whopping 11,500 packs of glace cherries.

Over summer Countdown is also delivering online to summer hot spots all around New Zealand, giving Kiwis more time to spend time on the beach with family, knowing that Countdown have their shopping sorted.


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