The Countdown to Christmas is on!

Kiwi Christmas preparations are well underway, with more than 208 tonnes of Christmas ham, two million Christmas mince pies and 500,000 Christmas crackers already hitting the shopping trolleys of Countdown customers across Aotearoa. 

With a bit more time at home to plan, thanks to COVID-19 lockdowns, Kiwis have been getting organised for Christmas day early this year with many already stocking up on the classics, as well as some new additions too, ahead of the big day. 

Here’s a compilation of Countdown’s Christmas hits 2021 so far:

  • We've sold 208 tonnes of ham with another 260 tonnes to go out in the next week. Bone in half hams are the biggest sellers, with mini hams also proving popular as are Countdown own brand free farmed NZ hams. 

  • Since the start of November, we have also sold 142,000 cans of pineapple, perhaps not unrelated to the aforementioned ham?

  • Kiwis are clearly feeling nostalgic this year, with an additional 4.5 tonnes of frozen turkeys bought this year compared to last year. 

  • We’re expecting demand for fresh salmon & prawns to jump by 30% this week.

  • A Kiwi Christmas is all about berries and cherries, with berries making up over 10% of fruit sold during Christmas week. Strawberries are number one, followed by blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Central Otago cherries are now ready and we’ll sell around a quarter of our cherries for the year in this week alone.

  • New-season New Zealand sweetcorn is popular and takes the number one spot for vegetables followed by Perla potatoes and asparagus. In a seasonal message our produce team also urges people not to forget Reindeer carrots this Christmas eve.

  • In the delicious desserts realm we are expecting to sell over 100,000 litres of cream in the four days leading into Christmas, over 2 million individual mince pies and over 25% of custard for the year. Gold raspberry meringues are also a popular non-traditional dessert but traditional Christmas puds are continuing to hold their own.

  • Seasonal sweet tooths have already snapped up more than 1.3 million candy canes, but the most popular Kiwi Christmas lollies remain Cadbury Favourites, Roses and Scorched Almonds.

  • Kiwi’s have bought 564,000 meters of scotch tape (enough to tape a strip from Auckland to Taupo and back!) and 785km worth of gift wrap (enough to pave the road from Auckland to Wellington!).

  • We’re not shy in giving the good stuff for Christmas either, with Moet, Veuve Cliquot, and Mumm champagne making up to 80% of total Champagne sales in December. Those looking to make Christmas a bit more unforgettable are also getting into the grape-stuff, with 80% of non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice sold in the four weeks leading into Christmas.

  • It’s not only Mariah Carey getting cheesy this Christmas, with the surprise hit of the season being Countdown’s large 900gm brie round, which is flying off shelves and onto tables - with 50% of stock already sold and more ordered to meet the growing Christmas demand.

  • Kiwi’s are also getting quite fancy, with frozen party snacks like goats cheese and caramelised onion arancini, and truffle polenta chips proving popular for entertainers.

  • Christmas tends to be a time to indulge, and this year our own brand range has expanded so your budget doesn't need to. Also, adding to the nice list is the WW own brand range of products were recently ranked the healthiest in Australia for the third year in a row, meaning they are not only better for Kiwis, but their wallets too.

Countdown’s Chief Christmas Elf and Managing Director Spencer Sonn says, despite the challenges of 2021, Christmas day is shaping up to be a cracker. 

“Global freight challenges have certainly thrown a few spanners in the works, but we’ve worked hard to be as prepared as possible for Christmas

“Thanks to some forward planning, and by bringing in early shipments of most of our seasonal Christmas products, we’ve got everything Kiwis need in our stores to make the big day special. We’ve also got plenty of fantastic, fresh, locally-sourced produce that will be a highlight on the table of families throughout Aotearoa,” Spencer says. 

Countdown is also making sure all Kiwi families have a special Christmas, and is encouraging anyone who can to donate food in-store or online throughThe Foodbank Project to make sure The Salvation Army foodbanks are well-stocked for anyone in need. Every Countdown store also donates a $500 trolley of groceries alongside the customer donations. 

“It’s been a big year, and however Kiwis are doing Christmas, we’ve all really earned a good break. From our Countdown whānau to yours, have a happy, safe and delicious holiday - we look forward to seeing you in-store soon!” says Spencer.

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