Foodstuffs capitalises on anti-Aussie supermarket sentiment

Following the decision of the two big Aussie supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths, to remove New Zealand-produced goods from their house brand labels and Shane Jones’ request for a Commerce Commission investigation into the way Progressive Enterprises treats its suppliers (and the inevitable Facebook campaign asking Kiwis to boycott the company), Foodstuffs has taken the opportunity to remind the nation that the big brands under its umbrella—Pak ‘n Save and New World—are full-blown Kiwi.

Foodstuffs’ group general manager of marketing Steve Bayliss says the news last week about the supposed behaviour of Aussie supermarkets led to very short turnaround pieces of pointed patriotism for both brands “to ensure they were unambiguously New Zealand”.

“New World’s almost public service-style advertisement [via .99]sure isn’t pretty and it won’t be bothering the scorers at any awards show. Unless there is one for fast turnaround. It was briefed one afternoon and ingested and on air the following night.” 

Pak ‘n Save ran an ‘All Things Kiwi Week’ campaign, via DraftFCB, in an effort to show its national colours, with “great deals on products grown in NZ, made by a NZ company or containing NZ ingredients”. 

And it even seems to be attracting its competitors, if this seemingly rather incriminating photo posted on the Boycott Countdown Facebook page is anything to go by. 

While there’s no doubt these are tactical responses to the troubles currently being faced by its main competitor, Bayliss says there are a couple of other significant trends at play that are pointing towards “a bit of a tip towards national pride” this year. 

“Given the strengthening of the New Zealand economy (relative to peer nations), election year, flag debates and a heavy sports schedule, I think we’ll see an escalation in the importance and value we place on all things Kiwi. Additionally, after several painful years of being very rational in our decision-making through the GFC, we believe we’ll see a sharp swing back to the importance of emotional messaging. Sensible will still be important, but making me feel good will be at least equally so.”

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