OVERSEAS trends that show city dwellers tend to shop on a daily basis with smaller and fresher purchases are a bonus for our increasing interest in metro supermarkets.
And Auckland’s latest, the comprehensive New World near the bottom of Auckland’s Queen Street,. is no exception.The pattern of shopping has already been established
after only a couple of weeks of trading with both city dwellers and office workers expecting high quality fresh produce and an extensive selection of prepared foods.
This stunning basement operation of 1324 sqm with 70 staff and 12 checkouts is run by owner/operator Harry Chawla and the designers have done well with what has
been a difficult configuration at the bottom of the old BNZ Tower, a property now owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Foodstuffs Wellington have two Metro-style stores operating
in the capital but this was the first inner city venture by Foodstuffs Auckland. Managing director Murray Jordan said the inner city customers were quite different to the
company’s usual suburban shoppers.
Foodstuffs research showed that over 74% city residents were renters and about half were aged between 20 and 29. The numbers of those living in the city was expected
to rise to over 31,000 in the next four years as many former office blocks were converted to apartments – and the number of city workers was now almost 85,000 – an
important customer base for both New World and the fresh Countdown Metro operation around the corner.
Auckland city pedestrian counts outside the building run at around 1620 an hour on average which is a lot higher than other city areas that average in the 960’s an hour.
The shop sits in a former foodcourt that had been empty for some years and had failed to lease to any other larger format operators. And while it may be in a basement
that requires escalator access both in and out, it is reminiscent of a number of other international city operations, particularly London.
The $3.5m fitout to house around 4000 sku’s, has worked well and Harry’s experience at Hillcrest New World and Thames Pak’nSave is paying handsome dividends.
While he has placed emphasis on fresh and prepared foods for central city workers in particular, the store has an amazing liquor department - one of the best selections
around – and is already overtrading in that section.
An unfortunate incident when a 25-year-old customer had a seizure near the bottom of the escalators, marred what was a great opening trading day.
The woman fell only a short distance and was knocked unconscious. She was treated by paramedics.
FOOD Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has just called for submissions on a draft nutrition, health and related claims proposed standard under the ANZ Food
Standards code – an area that carried hugely diverse opinions on such a complex proposal. “The proposed standard will impact food manufacturers including retailers
with private labels who make claims about health or wellness benefits of an ingredient in their product,” said Peter Stubbs, a partner at law firm Simpson Grierson.
The proposed standard will regulate statements made by manufacturers on labels about the nutrition content of a food (for example, low in fat or a source of calcium)
and the relationship between a food and health ( say calcium and bone health). “Under the proposed new standard, a claim about a food-health relationship cannot be
made unless the claim is pre-approved by FSANZ,” he said. “FSANZ is also seeking comment on the regulation of “fat free” and “(percentage) fat free” claims.
Further, there will be specific requirements for comparative claims such as reduced”. It has been acknowledged by FSANZ that there are diverse opinions but this is an
opportunity for the industry to express its views. Newspapers, and particularly the Sunday papers, have been quick to have writers produced comments on “untruths”
on current labels of many products particularly the fat free claims that have been promoted in isolation but have been said to be unhealthy in every other respect.
The regulatory changes may well mollify those who are skeptical about current health claims although many manufacturers have been working towards making a
positive health difference.
CHINA’S largest international food and beverage show – SIAL China – is reportedly coming up with some highly original and innovative products for its May 9-11 event.
The show being staged in Shanghai’s Pudong district (near the main airport), follows up on the 2011 expo that was said to be the country’s most innovative one to date.
As well as supermarket products, the show also covers the hotel, restaurant and catering arena. To date over 40 countries have booked national stands.
There’s more detail on www,sialchina.com n
A NUMBER of New Zealand exhibitors and buyers have already booked for the upcoming FHA 2012 show in Singapore April 17-20. This is one of the biggest shows in
the Asia Pacific region and encompasses five specialized events – FoodAsia, Bakery&Pastry, Hotel Asia, Hospitality Style Asia and Hospitality Technology – tailored to
provide industry professionals with direct access to the latest products.
The show area now covers almost a million square feet with around 2,600 exhibitors from 65 countries and regions. There are 46 international group pavilions and the
show organizers are expecting close to 60,000 visitors. For the grocery trade, the FoodAsia sector features a large international mix of food and drinks from raw
ingredients to ready to eat products and provides a diverse platform of product sourcing.
As well, the Bakery & Pastry sector will further showcase equipment and supplies. Certainly there is plenty for the grocery trade to see and the broad showing of Asian
products and ingredients will be of interest. A number of competitions are staged in connection with the event including a country culinary challenge, Chinese banqueting
contests, the Asia Barista championship and the Asian Pastry Cup, the latter a pre-selection platform for the World Pastry Cup in France later this year.
As well as the opportunities being explored in the exhibition halls, the conference arena has a number of topics of interest to the grocery trade including cold chain
management, food safety and consumer trends in addresses being delivered by international experts. More information on the event is on www.foodhotelasia.com