New Zealand’s Christmas Day food favourites revealed

Kiwis set to eat our way through the equivalent of 67 rugby fields of strawberries this Christmas

19 December 2016: It’s New Zealand’s favourite summer fruit and for a few short weeks over the festive season, strawberry sales knock bananas from their perch as Countdown’s most popular produce item. Countdown anticipates customers will devour their way through 67 rugby fields of strawberries, but they’re not the only food Kiwis will be indulging in this Christmas Day.

Traditional treats including Christmas ham, cherries, pavlova, turkey and baby potatoes are tipped to be popular this year, but contemporary Christmas food trends such as salmon and beef eye fillet are gaining popularity.

This Christmas Kiwi shoppers are expected to go through:

  • 34 milk tankers worth of cream
  • 25 acres of cherry trees
  • 690,000 servings of turkey
  • The equivalent of 326 mini coopers of ham  
  • 1.3 million litres of ice cream
  • More than 36,000 advent calendar chocolates
  • Our favourite breakfast on Christmas Day is croissants
  • 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 sweet corn and asparagus are our favourites.
  • We are a country of last minute present wrappers; the biggest week for buying Christmas paper is the week before the big event. 

When it comes to dessert, pavlova remains a clear winner. If the pre-made pavlovas New Zealanders consume over this period were stacked vertically, they would reach 31 times higher than the Sky Tower or three times higher than Mt Cook.

While it appears New Zealanders are united in their Christmas Day food traditions, data reveals different regions have definite clear favourites when it comes to Christmas Day meat selection.

Cantabrians consume more hams than any other region, while Northland and the Coromandel Peninsula prefer to have lamb on the Christmas table. Salmon is the favourite in Auckland whilst families on the North Shore are more partial to a beef roast or eye fillet steak. And while pavlova is the clear nationwide dessert winner, East Aucklanders love a traditional Christmas pudding, with more sold in this region than anywhere else in the country.

Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise, Chris Fisher 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. Our South Island shoppers tend to be making meals based around a ham or turkey with roast vegetables, whilst the North Island are creating dishes based around BBQ meats and a fillet of Salmon.

“Our love affair with strawberries at this time of year is partly because of their versatility across the Christmas menu, whether that’s fruit salad, a plain fresh strawberry after a heavy meal, chocolate dipped for dessert, as part of a cheese platter, at the bottom of a champagne glass and of course on top of the long-standing Christmas favourite, pavlova with cream,” says Chris Fisher.

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