End dodgy 'specials'

In June 2023, we lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission about Woolworths and Foodstuff's pricing and promotional practices, who are now being investigated for potential breaches of the Fair Trading Act.

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Help us look into member vs non-member pricing

We have been looking into loyalty pricing – we don’t think loyalty schemes always offer the most competitive price. We think two-tier pricing, that’s member and non-member pricing, in supermarkets ramps up the pressure on shoppers to sign up to loyalty schemes. We want to see fairer prices for everyone. We will keep a close eye on loyalty pricing. If you see any examples of products with a big difference between member and non-member pricing please share it with us

Send your examples

Every day, the major supermarkets are making more than $1 million in excess profits.

With the cost of living rising, many New Zealanders are struggling to put food on the table.  

We need more competition to bring down prices. 

We’ve been calling for ten fixes to make the supermarket industry truly competitive. Many of these are now happening, including:

  • A mandatory code of conduct
  • Appointing a Grocery Commissioner
  • Improved access to goods at wholesale prices for other retailers
  • Banning land covenants that prevent competitors from setting up shop
  • Mandatory unit pricing. 

This is great progress, but our work isn't done yet. 

The story so far

1948: The country's first self-service grocery store 'Four Square' opens. 

Late 1950s: The first Woolworths opens Foodtown. 

1950s - 2000s: New Zealand enjoys a diversity of supermarkets over the decades, from Price Chopper to Pak'N'Save to Super Value.

2002: Supermarket choices dwindle as larger players buy up smaller retailers, until the duopoly is officially born when Progressive and Woolworths merge. 

2000s - 2010s: New Zealand has one of the most concentrated grocery retailing sectors in the world with Foodstuffs and Woolworths now controlling at least 80% of the market. Complaints about the cost of food, as well as a lack of clarity around pricing, concerns for supplier treatment and impediments to new entrants entering the market grow louder. 

November 2020: The Commerce Commission launches a market study to see if competition is working well in the grocery sector. 

March 2022: The final report is released and confirms duopoly are making profits in excessive profits of $1 million a day at the expense of New Zealanders. A variety of recommendations to increase competition are made by the Commission.

May 2022: Consumer NZ launches a petition for the government to go beyond the recommendations, which receives 78,000 signatures. 

July 2022: The Government indicates it will go further than Commerce Commission’s recommendations, with various measures underway to encourage healthier supermarket competition. 

August 2022: The Government gives the duopoly a year to reach a supply agreement with wholesale customers, or be forced to sell at set prices by a regulator. 

July 2023: The Grocery Industry Competition Act came into force, giving the Commerce Commission new powers to monitor and regulate the grocery sector.

July 2023: The Commerce Commission appoints Pierre van Heerden as New Zealand's first Grocery Commissioner.  

August 2023: Consumer NZ lodges a complaint with the Commerce Commission about potential breaches of the Fair Trading Act by the major supermarkets.  

January 2024: The Commerce Commission has opened an investigation into Woolworths, Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island following Consumer's complaint.