Countdown's Christmas shopping list: More than 200 tonnes of ham sold as shoppers stock up – New Zealand Herald

Cheree Kinnear delves into Kiwis end of year shopping habits. Video / NZ Herald
Kiwis preparing for a hearty lunch this Saturday have already snaffled more than 208 tonnes of ham, two million fruit mince pies and 500,000 Christmas crackers.
Today Countdown release a « compilation » of its greatest Christmas hits, revealing what Kiwi shoppers have been filling their trolleys with so far as they shop for the festive season.
« We’ve sold 208 tonnes of ham with another 260 tonnes to go out in the next week, » said Countdown’s « Chief Christmas Elf » – managing director Spencer Sonn.
« 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? »
Sonn said Kiwis were clearly feeling nostalgic this year, with an additional 4.5 tonnes of frozen turkeys bought this year compared with last year.
And the supermarket chain is expecting demand for fresh salmon and prawns to jump by 30 per cent this week.
« A Kiwi Christmas is all about berries and cherries, with berries making up over 10 per cent of fruit sold during Christmas week, » Sonn revealed.
« 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 also flying out of the vegetable section along with Perla potatoes and asparagus.
Sonn said when it came to desserts, Countdown was expecting to sell over 100,000 litres of cream in the four days leading into Christmas, more than two million individual mince pies and over 25 per cent 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, » he said.
« 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 supermarket goers have also purchased 564,000m of scotch tape – enough to tape a strip from Auckland to Taupo and back – and 785km worth of gift wrap which Sonn said was 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 per cent of total Champagne sales in December, » Sonn said.
« Those looking to make Christmas a bit more unforgettable are also getting into the grape-stuff, with 80 per cent of non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice sold in the four weeks leading into Christmas. »
Sonn said while Christmas tends to be a time to indulge, this year Countdown’s 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, » e said.
« 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 ».
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 through The 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, » said Sonn.
« From our Countdown whānau to yours, have a happy, safe and delicious holiday – we look forward to seeing you in-store soon!. »

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