January is already gearing up to be the hottest month in New Zealand since 1908, and Kiwis around the country are doing everything they can to stay cool, hydrated and be sun smart.
Countdown has analysed their summer sales data to see what Kiwis are buying to help cope with the heat. And top of the list? Bottled water.
During the summer months so far, Countdown has already sold more than seven million litres of water. That’s the equivalent of drinking approximately three Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Fans have also been extremely popular and Countdowns around the country have nearly sold out completely, as people look for an escape from the heat. Other summer essentials flying off the shelves include sunblock, insecticides, ice, beer, watermelons and ice cream.
I’m a sucker for statistics, so here’s a list of 2018 key insights from summer (based on sales 1 December – mid January):
New Zealanders bought more than 640 tonnes of ice, which is enough to fill more than 20,000 chilly bins.
Water sales up more than 18 per cent
Fans have almost sold out across the country and sales have increased by double digits on last year
Insect sprays are up more than 20 per cent
Ant repellent sales are almost double last year and since the beginning of summer we’ve sold more than 15,000 packs.
Bug repellents are up more than 23 per cent as this summer’s extreme heat has meant there are more bugs, mozzies and ants around the house.
Ice cream sales have increased more than 20 per cent.
Kiwis are also choosing healthy snacks to get relief from the heat with watermelon sales significantly higher than last year and nectarines increased more than 20 per cent.
Bagged salads has increased more than 15 per cent this summer.
This summer, Countdown has already sold more than 108 tonnes of coleslaw. That’s the equivalent to the weight of 54 caravans!
Kiwis love to entertain and nothing beats the iconic duo of chips and Kiwi Onion Dip. A can of reduced cream and packet of onion soup will never go amiss at a summer BBQ. And we’re obviously enjoying the chips too – chip sales have increased more than 8 per cent! Reduced cream sales are up more than four per cent.
Scott Davidson, Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise, says that as soon as Kiwis finish off the last of the Christmas leftovers, we turn to entertaining and BBQ’s as we take full advantage of longer and hotter days.
“This year, we are making the most of the hot nights and entertaining as much as possible. We have seen big increases in BBQ meats, salads and we just can’t get enough of sausages wrapped in bread and covered in tomato sauce.
“Once all the festivities are finished and we start getting back into work and school, we start to think about being healthy again. Watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple, and honeydew are all big sellers over summer, as well as stone fruit, sweet corn, asparagus, and lettuce,” says Scott Davidson.
Countdown’s major city stores quieten down over the holiday period and stores based in summer hot spots have a sharp increase in the number of feet through our doors. For the second year, Countdown increased its online summer deliveries and it’s been a big hit.
“We thought that Kiwis would want to get out of the heat and into our air conditioning to get all their groceries for the bach but it seems the ocean and beach is way more appealing! We have had record numbers of online shopping delivering across the country, so much so that we are considering continuing our summer deliveries to some of the more popular locations on a permanent basis, “ he says.