FMCG Business article

The New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) held its annual Convenience Market Review Business Breakfasts in Auckland and Christchurch in October.

FMCG Business went along to bring you highlights from the Auckland event, which was attended by over 80 NZACS members, including Goodman Fielder, Tip Top Ice Cream, Bluebird, Signature Marketing and Frucor Suntory teams.

The State of the Industry update was presented by Larrisa Watson Consumer Intelligence Lead at NielsenIQ. Larissa shared valuable insights, including an increase in sales in the Total Service Stations channel in New Zealand (now $1.35 billion value, up 3.3%).

The New Zealand retail landscape is changing and consumers are making more conscious choices, said Larissa.

“Kiwis are concerned about the cost of food and fuel at the moment, but consumers are still willing to spend money for convenience. This means it’s more important than ever to have the right range available for your customers. You can also drive more traffic to your store by having public transport cards readily available, for example. Ice creams could be a potential opportunity in certain locations, especially as we’re seeing tourism increasing again.”

“We need to continue to look for growth opportunities,” said Larissa. “We need to be aware of the evolving retail landscape and what the competition is doing. Think outside the box, and think: what is the right mix for the right location. It’s important to know your base core products and then use innovations to help drive sales. New news keeps it all exciting.”

Top selling products right now include sports and energy drinks, chilled convenience foods, fresh coffee, confectionery and ice cream. Better for you drinks, such as Arepa, are also on the rise.

Larissa explained that beverages, chilled food and confectionery are key growth drivers in New Zealand, but tobacco is in decline. We’re also seeing that vaping is increasing, so there could be some opportunity there.

Looking ahead, new legislation restricting the sale of smoking tobacco products is coming into force from July 2024. Currently, you can buy tobacco in about 6000 stores across New Zealand. This proposal will restrict sales to 600 sites and it will have a huge impact on some stores.

The event concluded with an update from NZACS Executive Director Dave Hooker: a golf fundraiser is planned for March; the annual awards night is moving to June; and the C&I Expo will be held 24-25th July 2024 at the Due Drop Events Centre in Manukau City.

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