News and media releases

Countdown has analysed sales data from last year’s Labour Weekend and determined that not only are Kiwi’s popping open a bag of chips and making lots of dip, whether the sun is out or not, Labour Weekend is a psychological marker when the slow cookers are relegated to the back of the cupboard and summer fare makes its way back to our tables.

Countdown is one of the largest employers in the country and is very serious about providing a supportive and safe workplace for its 18,400 strong team.  With so many Kiwis affected with mental health, Countdown has introduced mental health training and opened a 24 hour phone-line to ensure they are offering their team the support they need. 

A 100 Countdown team members will have undertaken extensive training by the end of this month across its stores, logistics, support office and senior management to assist them in understanding the signs of mental illness and how to approach and talk to team members who may be impacted.  

Every one of Countdown’s 180 supermarkets will be single-use plastic carrier bag free from 15 October - two and a half months ahead of schedule.

The announcement comes on the same day 67 further stores, including all Countdown’s South Island supermarkets, phase out single-use plastic carrier bags. The remaining 26 stores will make the move to reusable bags on Monday, 15 October. 

Countdown supermarkets nationwide are encouraging customers to donate much-needed pet food to a new SPCA Community Pet Pantry initiative, which will help SPCA feed animals in need.

The designated SPCA Community Pet Pantry collection bins are located near the front of Countdown stores, and welcome donations of pet food tins, pouches and dried food. Donations are then collected by the local SPCA and given to inspectors to distribute where it is needed most.

Eighty-five per cent of all Countdown supermarkets, including all South Island stores, will have phased out single-use plastic carrier bags from early next month, with a further 67 stores being added to the roll-out on 8 October.

The further stores are located throughout New Zealand and include the country’s third largest city Christchurch, which will have 15 stores making the change in the same week. All Countdown stores in Ashburton, Napier, Hastings, the Waikato region, Auckland’s North Shore and Timaru will also make the move away from plastic on 8 October.

Countdown has withdrawn a brand of Australian strawberries from sale as a precautionary measure, and is advising customers to cut up strawberries before consuming them.

Needles were found in a punnet of strawberries sourced from Western Australia, which was bought in a Countdown supermarket in Auckland.  The Choice brand of strawberries was sold nationwide last week.

Countdown’s 181 supermarkets throughout New Zealand can now accept UnionPay cards, the major payment method for Chinese tourists which are now accepted in 170 countries and regions across the globe.

 This collaboration sees Countdown become the first supermarket chain in New Zealand to accept UnionPay payment options (prepaid, debit and credit cards) as well as UnionPay QuickPass — UnionPay’s contactless payment service available with UnionPay chip cards, mobile phones and wearable devices.

Riki Kerekere from Countdown Meat and Seafood has taken out the title of Butcher of the Year and Corey White another butcher from Countdown has been crowned the Apprentice Butcher of the Year at the Grand Finale last night in Auckland.

Following tightly fought regional competitions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, involving over 50 competitors, the 10 finalists in each category battled it out yesterday afternoon before the winners were announced at the red carpet awards dinner.

This week Countdown’s team has celebrated its annual Trade Show, Supplier Update and announced their Annual Awards winners.

The annual event is a chance for team to get together and learn about upcoming products and initiatives, network and meet suppliers, as well as visit the trade expo to sample the latest products about to hit stores.

Almost half of all Countdown supermarkets will have removed single-use plastic carrier bags from 3 September, with a further 35 stores joining the roll-out to make the change to reusable bags.

The next 35 stores are in addition to the 52 Countdown stores throughout the country that are already single-use plastic carrier bag free. All stores in the Far North District and Taranaki are included in the 3 September roll-out.