Kiwis last minute Easter shopping habits includes tonnes of chocolate and hot cross buns

27 March 2018: Countdown expects Kiwis to munch their way through more than 530 tonnes of Easter confectionery this holiday, that’s the equivalent of three empty Boeing 747’s. They are also anticipating Kiwis to get more than 13 million individual hot cross buns.

A breakdown of some of our favourite Easter treats are:

  • Kiwis’ favourite chocolate Easter treat continues to be marshmallow eggs, with five out of the top ten Easter products being marshmallow varieties.  Cadbury Creme Eggs are next most popular, with Countdown expecting to sell more than half a million eggs or Creme Egg multipacks.
  • It seems the traditional egg hunt on Easter Sunday is still a popular tradition, with 400 tonnes of chocolate eggs and confectionery packs sold.
  • New Zealanders will work their way through approximately 80 tonnes of chocolate bunnies and 13 million hot cross buns. If we placed these buns side-by-side it would stretch 780 km, which is the equivalent distance from Christchurch to Wellington, including the Cook Strait.
  • Traditional hot cross buns remain Kiwis favourite flavour, followed closely by chocolate.  To keep up with the demand for hot cross buns we will use more than 600,000kgs of South Island grown and milled flour, 55,000kgs of sultanas,  80,000kgs of currants and 12,000kgs of Hershey’s chocolate chips.
  • A portion of hot cross bun sales is donated to the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal which sees crucial medical equipment donated to children’s hospital awards across the country. This year, hot cross bun sales are expected to raise more than $100,000 for the charity.
  • Kiwis’ love affair with marshmallow eggs and hot cross buns starts months in advance, with sales of the Easter treats starting in January and peaking in the weeks leading up to Easter itself.  However there is still a lot of last minute shopping on Saturday night before Easter Sunday after 10pm, with Easter eggs, hot cross buns as well as bacon and eggs the most popular items. A late brunch is obviously key to Kiwis’ holiday plans.
  • More and more of us are using online shopping for their Easter plans than ever before, we’ve seen double the number of new shoppers trying online shopping for the first time in key holiday periods.

Countdown has reviewed sales from last year and discovered that we’re still a nation of last minute Easter shoppers.  The most popular last minute items brought after 10pm include Easter confectionery (to top up on the goodies left behind by the Easter Bunny), milk, bread, chips (for entertaining at home), lots of hot cross buns as well as bacon and eggs for the late brunch the next day.

Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise, Scott Davidson says Easter is one of the busiest shopping days in the calendar and we are open late on Thursday and Saturday for all those last minute holiday needs. 

“We know that our customers get worried about our stores being closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, however our late nights before Easter and opening on Saturday and Monday means Kiwis don’t need to worry. Also our teams around the country, are working around the clock to keep the shelves well stocked.”

This year, Countdown’s online shopping has opened even more windows this Easter, giving Kiwis more delivery times and pick up options.

“We’re seeing great growth in our online service as more and more customers are getting in early and pre-ordering their Easter shopping online to have it delivered to their holiday destination, giving them more time to relax ahead of the long weekend, “ says Scott Davidson.

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