Although New Zealand grocery stores tend to be a bit expensive, shopping for groceries, as opposed to eating out at restaurants, will save you a great deal of money. Together Countdown, New World, and Pak’nSave dominate the New Zealand grocery store industry, but Four Square, FreshChoice, and SuperValue pull their weight.
In no particular order, here is a list of the best New Zealand grocery stores and supermarkets.
In 1981, the first Countdown store opened in Christchurch. Today, over 184 Countdown grocery stores exist across New Zealand. Owned by Woolworths New Zealand and headquartered in Auckland, Countdown employs over 18,500 New Zealanders. Countdown serves more than 2.5 million New Zealanders every week with over 20,000 different products in each of their stores.
2. New World
Founded in 1963, New World is a full-service supermarket with 140 locations across the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Each New World grocery store is independently owned and 100% Kiwi operated. Headquartered in Wellington, New World is one of the top three supermarkets in New Zealand. Similar to PAK’nSave and Four Square, New World is also owned by Foodstuffs.
Founded fairly recently in 1995 and headquartered in Christchurch, FreshChoice is a chain of locally owned and operated New Zealand supermarkets. Just like Countdown and SuperValue, FreshChoice is owned by Woolworths New Zealand. At the time of this writing, there are 30 FreshChoice stores across New Zealand.
4. Four Square
In 1924, the first Four Square supermarket opened. Today, there are more than 240 stores across New Zealand with additional locations in Australia. The name for the grocery store originated when Heaton Barker drew a square around the 4 on his calendar on July 4, 1924. In addition, Barker states that the grocery store “would stand ‘Four Square’ to all the winds that blew”. Similar to Pak’nSave and New World, Four Square is also owned by Foodstuffs.
The first SuperValue opened in Opawa, Christchurch in 1964. Today, SuperValue has over 41 locally owned and operated supermarkets in New Zealand. Woolworths New Zealand also owns SuperValue, just like Countdown and FreshChoice. SuperValue was originally spelled without an ‘e’ like SuperValu, but customers disliked this, so the ‘e’ was tacked back on the end.
The last, but certainly not least in this list of New Zealand grocery stores is Pak’nSave. The first Pak’nSave opened in June 1985 at Kaitaia on the North Island, and today there are 57 locations across New Zealand. This New Zealand discount food warehouse chain is headquartered in Wellington and is probably the cheapest New Zealand grocery store. In order to offer the lowest grocery store prices in New Zealand, Pak’nSave buys in bulk, doesn’t decorate their stores, and has customers pack their own bags—hence the “pack and save” name. Similar to Four Square and New World, Pak’nSave is also owned by Foodstuffs.
As you can see, parent companies Foodstuffs and Woolworths New Zealand dominate the New Zealand grocery store industry. While Pak’nSave is the cheapest supermarket in New Zealand, Four Square has by far the most locations.
Similarly, I also wrote a post about the best supermarkets in Australia which you may be interested in.
What is your favorite New Zealand grocery store? Let me know in the comments below.