New Zealand’s summer shopping habits revealed

Kiwis’ set to buy 25,000 litres of sunscreen this summer

4 January 2017: As the heat begins to soar around the country, New Zealanders begin stocking up on the summer essentials; sunscreen, insect repellent, ice cream, and sausages. Countdown stores have been getting ready for months to prepare for the summer rush after Christmas.

Customers surveyed say that only 2 per cent of them head away to the bach before Christmas, while in the days following there is a mass exodus from the main cities to beaches and holiday hot spots around the country.

The most popular spots, where Countdown sees the biggest increase in people in store, are the Coromandel, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Marlborough/Abel Tasman.

As the sun and mosquitoes come out in force, shoppers will buy 25,000 litres of sunscreen and almost 80,000 cans of insect repellent, with almost half being bought in the three weeks after Christmas.

Kiwis love their ice cream and as the temperature increases we are expected to indulge in the equivalent of half an Olympic swimming pool of ice cream. Bottles of water and bags of ice are also largely popular in summer, with customers doing all they can to keep cool.

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. Kiwis will eat their way through the equivalent weight of 4,100 jandals worth of sausages over summer, a lot of which will be wrapped in bread covered in tomato sauce. 

Once all the festivities are finished we start to think about being healthy again. Watermelon, rock melon, pineapple, and honeydew are all big sellers over summer, as well as stone fruit, sweet corn, asparagus, and lettuce.

Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise, Chris Fisher says that with Christmas out of the way for another year, the classic Kiwi summer takes centre stage in store, and customers will see more of a focus on meats and salads, with some great everyday products locked down to help Kiwis celebrate this summer.

“We know that as the major cities quieten down, the summer hot spots have a sharp increase in the number of feet through our doors, and we are fully prepared for the increase in demand for summer essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and all the summer fruit and vegetables,” says Mr Fisher.

Time is precious, especially when there are more important things to do like relaxing on the beach. This year for the first time you can order your shopping online from Countdown and get all your groceries delivered to the bach. The new delivery locations include Coopers Beach, Whangamata, Castlepoint, Riversdale, Picton, and the Marlborough Sounds. Other holiday hotspots will also have additional deliveries during summer, you can check out all of our holiday delivery maps and times at

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