Leading imports from the United States include food preparations, dog and cat food, fresh grapes, frozen meat products, fresh oranges, various sauces and mixed condiments, almonds fresh and dried, fru
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA
STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: NZ115
Agricultural Marketing Assistant
New Zealand‟s imports of consumer-oriented agricultural products have trended upward over the
past several years. Imports fell slightly in 2009 to US $1.65 billion, however, it rebounded in 2010
to US$ 1.89 billion. Leading imports from the United States include food preparations, dog and cat
food, fresh grapes, frozen meat products, fresh oranges, various sauces and mixed condiments,
almonds fresh and dried, fruit mixtures, dry fruits and nuts, fresh pears etc.
SECTION I: MARKET OVERVIEW
New Zealand lies in the southwest Pacific Ocean and consists of two main islands and several
smaller islands. It is comparable in size to Japan and has a population of 4.37 million people. It
is a largely urbanized society with over half of the population residing in the four largest cities:
Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton. According to Statistics New Zealand,
approximately one-third of New Zealanders live in Auckland.
In February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch in New Zealand‟s South Island,
causing widespread damage and multiple fatalities. Approximately 70,000 people have left the city
since the earthquake. The earthquake slowed down economic development not only in the
Christchurch region, but also in the country. Confidence among both businesses and consumers
has declined as a result of the disaster.
2008 2009 2010 2011
Population 4.27 million 4.32 million 4.37 million 4.40 million
Per Capita GDP 32,134 31,341 30,828 31,0221
GDP Growth (%) 3.0% -1.5% -0.5% 1.6%
Unemployment Rate 4.7% 7.3% 6.8% 6.4%*
Consumer Price Inflation 3.4% 2.0% 1.7% 4.6%*
Food Price Inflation 9.1% 0.9% 4.2% 1.1%*
Source: Stats New Zealand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Global Trade Atlas.
*Notes: GDP is a March 31 year using a chain volume series in 1995/96 prices; (*) Year ending Sept/Oct 2011
Source: Statistics New Zealand
The majority of New Zealanders are of European descent. However, the country has an
increasingly multi-cultural population. According to Statistics New Zealand 2010 figures, the
indigenous Mäori are the largest ethnic group accounting for 13% of the total population, followed
by Asian New Zealanders at 10%, and Pacific Island New Zealanders at 7%. New Zealanders of
European descent account for approximately 69% of the population, down from 83% in 1996.
New Zealand is highly dependent on the primary sector with agricultural products accounting for
approximately 55% of total exports. The figure increases to 65% when forestry and seafood are
included. An estimated 80-90% of New Zealand‟s primary production is exported.
Global Trade Atlas
US and New Zealand: Bilateral Agricultural Exports
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
US Exports to
NZ 174,133,553 170,509,345 210,133,310 245,661,235 232,084,164 265,205,980
NZ Exports to
US 2,114,123,630 2,027,205,879 2,076,336,695 2,132,319,138 1,797,572,876 1,944,930,587
Source: Year ending December, Global Trade Atlas
The United States is New Zealand‟s top destination for agricultural, forestry and fishery exports
followed by Australia and Japan. Leading exports include meat, dairy products (milk protein
concentrate, casein, and caseinates), wine and lumber. By contrast, New Zealand ranks as the
51st largest market for U.S. agricultural exports. Leading U.S. agricultural exports to the New
Zealand market include pet food, food preparations, frozen pork, fresh fruit and dry fruit, and
prepared sauces. New Zealand is the fifth largest market for U.S. pet food and USA pears and 8th
largest market for peaches, plums and nectarines.
Retail Grocery Sector
The retail grocery market in New Zealand is well developed with supermarkets, small-scale grocery
stores, fresh food specialty stores and convenience stores in all of the major population centers.
New Zealand‟s food expenditures in 2010 (June year – latest available) were valued at over NZ
$26 billion (US $18.72 billion). Approximately 51% of sales, NZ $13.2 billion (US $9.5 billion),
were made through supermarkets followed by cafes and restaurants at 15%, corner stores at 7%,
fast food outlets at 5%, bars/pubs and clubs at 5%, and other outlets at 17%. (Source: Coriolis
Research, June 20010 report)
Source: Coriolis Research, June 2010
Consumer-Oriented Food Product Trade
As shown in the graph below, New Zealand‟s imports of consumer-oriented agricultural products
have trended upward over the past several years. Imports fell slightly in 2009 to US $1.65 billion,
however, they rebounded in 2010 to US$ 1.89 billion. Australia is by far the leading supplier with
a 47% market share followed by the United States at 10% and China at 4%.
Leading consumer-oriented imports from Australia include bread/pastry products, food
preparations (including food crystals, powders, nut pastes etc.), wine, cat and dog food, sugar
confectionery (including white chocolate), cookies, prepared foods like cereal, non alcoholic
beverages etc. Leading imports from the United States include food preparations, dog and cat
food, fresh grapes, frozen meat products, fresh oranges, various sauces and mixed condiments,
almonds fresh and dried, fruit mixtures, dry fruits and nuts, fresh pears etc. Top imports from
China include sugar confectionery products, peanuts, pasta, frozen vegetables, fresh garlic, juices,
cookies, tomato paste, preserved peaches and sauces etc. (Source: Global Trade Atlas)
Source: Global Trade Atlas
Advantages and Challenges for U.S. Consumer Food Exporters
Familiar business and cultural environment and no New Zealand labeling laws are different from those in the U.S.
U.S. products tend to enjoy a quality reputation Growing competition from Malaysia and China in the consumer-
along with novelty status oriented food category
Minimum barriers to trade including low tariffs Strict phytosanitary/sanitary regulations with regard to fresh produce
ranging between 0 and 5% and meats
Opportunities to market U.S. fresh products during
New Zealand’s off-season due to the counter Consumer foods imported from Australia are duty free, while U.S.
seasonal nature of the markets products are assessed tariffs between 0 and 5%. Some Canadian
Some supermarkets make individual buying products have preferential tariff treatment.
Ease of doing business and size of market make it New Zealand retail market is highly consolidated and dominated by
a good fit for new-to-export and small to medium
two supermarket chains
NZ practices a science-based approach to trade Distance from United States results in high transportation costs
SECTION II: EXPORTER BUSINESS TIPS
New Zealand is a well-developed market. Establishing good working relationships with
importers/distributors is key to entering the New Zealand marketplace. Approximately 90%
of all imported food products are purchased and distributed within New Zealand by
New Zealand supermarkets mainly purchase imported products from importers and
distributors rather than importing directly. In the case of Foodstuffs, interested U.S.
exporters should contact each of the regional offices directly as they can make buying
decisions independently of each other. (Please see Section V for contact information.)
Tariffs assessed on U.S. food products range from zero to 5%. Tariff rates can be checked
at on the New Zealand Customs website. New Zealand Working Tariff Document
General sales tax (GST) on domestic and imported products is 15%.
The cost of international freight can be a fairly significant percentage of the final cost of a
product. U.S. exporters can contact freight forwarders in the United States to determine
transportation cost. New Zealand importers and distributors can arrange shipment with the
help of customs brokers in New Zealand.
For complete guide on import duties and charges, please check this link New Zealand
Customs duties and charges
High quality products with innovative packaging and unique features that are price
competitive tend to do well in the New Zealand market.
Fresh U.S. produce is an especially welcome addition to New Zealand retail shelves during
winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
Innovative, environmentally-friendly packaging has an advantage in retail food products.
New Zealand has strict food standards and labeling requirements that are set out in the
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. U.S. exporters are encouraged to review the
Food and Agriculture Import Regulations and Standards (FAIRS) report for New Zealand
which contains detailed information on New Zealand‟s food standards, labeling
requirements, import regulations, etc. This report can be viewed at the following site:
SECTION III: MARKET STRUCTURE AND TRENDS
Two supermarket chains, Foodstuffs (NZ) Limited and Progressive Enterprises Limited, dominate
the New Zealand retail sector. Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd. has an estimated 55% share of the New
Zealand grocery market and Progressive Enterprises has an estimated 42% share.
New Zealand Retail Market Distribution
Supermarket Ownership Market Store Names
Foodstuffs (NZ) New Zealand owned; made up of three 55% New World- Full service
Ltd independently owned co-operatives supermarkets
Write Price- Foodbarn/retail
Four Square- Convenience
On the Spot- Convenience stores
Progressive Owned by Woolsworths Limited 42% Woolworth- Full service
Enterprises (Australia) supermarkets
Foodtown- Full service
Supervalue- Conveniece grocery
Fresh Choice-Fresh and gourmet
Woolworth Quick & Micro-
Independent New Zealand Owned 3% Ethnic Shops
Grocery Stores Asian Grocery stores
Independent Green Grocers
Source: Coriolis Research, June 2010
Foodsuffs (NZ) Limited has 721 stores including 45 Pak N Save, 132 New World, 282 Four Square,
147 On the Spot, 3 Write Price, 1 Shoprite, 75 Liquorland, 3 Duffy & Finns, 17 On the Spot Express
and 16 Henry‟s Beer Wine and Spirit. The organization is comprised of three regional
cooperatives: Foodstuffs (Auckland) Co-operative Society Limited, which covers the middle to
upper North Island; Foodstuffs (Wellington) Co-operative Society Ltd, which covers the southern
half of the North Island; and Foodstuffs (South Island) Co-operative Society Limited, which covers
the entire South Island. Interested U.S. exporters should contact each of the regional Foodstuffs
offices as they make some buying decisions independently of each other. (Please see Section V for
Progressive Enterprises Limited, a subsidiary of the Australian company Wooldworths Limited, has
a 42% share of the New Zealand grocery market. Progressive Enterprises has 48 Woolworths
stores, 25 Foodtown, 77 Countdown, and 22 Woolworths Micro and Quickstop convenience stores.
Most purchasing decisions are made at its headquarters in Auckland but some are made by
U.S. exporters interested in supplying the New Zealand market can work with importers,
distributors or import brokers that target food category/merchandise managers at major
wholesalers and supermarket chains. Indicative margins (as a guide only) for New Zealand
importers/distributors are as follows:
-Importers: 5-20% of gross margin (i.e. percent of wholesale value)
-Distributors: 10-30% of gross margin (if funding promotional activities)
10-20% of gross margin (if not funding promotional activities)
-Supermarkets: 15-20% of the wholesale value (depending on the category)
-Independent Grocers: 30-40% of the gross margin
Following are the top 10 consumer shopping trends in New Zealand for 2011 (FMCG, June
1) Humane consideration – A number of surveys revealed that New Zealand consumers are
placing more importance on humane or ethically produced food i.e. free-range, cage-free
and cruelty-free products.
2) Smart phones – Smart phone technology is becoming popular, from searching food
products or purchasing goods online to in-store information and promotions. One growing
trend used by retailers, is to have store wine lists and suggested food matches available on
phones to help shoppers choose the best option.
3) Seasonal foods – There is a growing trend to purchase local produced seasonal foods,
instead of stocking many food items all year round.
4) Craft Beer – While beer consumption in New Zealand dropped 2.2 percent in 2010, sales
of craft, boutique and imported beers showed strong growth. Consumers are drinking less
but are often looking for more choice, variety and taste in their beer.
5) Cooking at home – Due to economic slowdown in New Zealand, consumers are often
cooking at home. Popularity of cooking shows on Television, consumers are becoming
adventurous and looking for a range of ingredients and opting out of ready-made meals.
6) Gourmet sausages – There is a growing trend in New Zealand to buy gourmet sausages
made from quality ingredients. Consumers are moving away from low quality meat used in
7) Comfort food revival – Popularity of electrical gadgets like Slow Cookers etc has
encouraged consumers to go back to hearty/comfort foods such as Lasagna, meatballs,
stews, macaroni-cheese and fish pies.
8) Gluten Free food – In New Zealand, 1 percent of the population suffer from coeliac
disease and are required to eat gluten free diet, however, marketing of gluten free as a
„healthier‟ choice is attracting consumers to look for gluten free products.
9) Healthy snacking – New Zealand consumers are looking for healthier snacks like healthy
bars, nuts, fruits and mineral water to replace processed foods such as cakes and cookies.
10) Vegetarian options – Another growing trend is eating less meat and opt for vegetarian
diet, trends such as “meatless Monday” or “Tofu Tuesdays” are part of the trend to eat less
meat. Some schools and households are going meat-free at least one day week.
A survey of 1,000 New Zealand households, conducted by the Nielsen Company on
“What influenced shoppers in their choice of a food store” suggested that although „low prices‟
was the fourth most important factor when choosing the store, ahead of it were convenience of
finding products; value for money and availability of products at one place. (NZ Consumer
New Zealand consumers are considered price conscious shoppers. More than half the
supermarket items scanned through the checkouts in New Zealand are products that are on
specials or discounted, compared to 25 percent in the United States. (NZ Herald, Oct 2011) .
A Food Service survey conducted by the Unilever Food Solutions suggests that 63%
New Zealand consumer will like to have more information about the nutrients and ingredients in
their meal when eating out, in comparison to 73% in the UK and 70% in the USA and 55% in
New Zealand held the Rugby World Cup event in September 2011. Approximately,
133,000 visitors attended this event from overseas. Supermarket and accommodation sector
saw the maximum growth, in comparison to other retail sales outlets. Grocery sales rose by
3.8%, specialist food by 5 percent and liquor sales increased by 3.5% in September quarter.
Cafes and bars were also benefited by this event, sales rose by 1.7 percent (NZ Herald, Nov
As of June 2010 (latest available), New Zealanders spent an average of NZ $1,010.00
per week. Of this, 17.5% or NZ $177.70 was spent on food. Approximately 44% of the weekly
average expenditure on food was spent on grocery items; 11% on fresh fruits and vegetables;
and 13% on meat, fish and poultry. Nearly 24% of the weekly budget was spent on restaurant
and take out meals and 5 percent was spent on non-alcoholic beverages. (Source: Household
Economic Table, June 2010, Statistics New Zealand)
It is estimated that one in four New Zealanders suffer from some form of food
intolerance, including gluten. The findings also confirm that New Zealand has the world‟s
highest rates of allergy or food intolerance sufferers, including asthma, coeliac, wheat, dairy
and egg allergies. The most common foods that accounted for 90% of all allergies or
intolerances are: milk and dairy products; wheat and other gluten products such as rye, spelt,
and barley; eggs; peanuts, walnuts and cashew nuts; fish and shellfish; soy
products.(Euromonitor, Nov 2011)
Private label sale in the New Zealand‟s supermarket is estimated to be about 15-16
percent, in comparison to Australia's 17-18 per cent and the UK in mid-40 per cent range.
(NBR, Nov 2011)
Section IV: Best Consumer Oriented Product Prospects for US Exporters
Total 5 Year Import Key Constraints Market
Imports Average Tariff over Market Attractiveness for
Product 2010 Annual Rate Development U.S.
Category (US Import
Fresh Grapes $18,381 8% Free NZ is a small market; High growth potential.
competition from Consumers want fruits to be
Chilean and Australian available year round.
Fresh Fruits $5,375 10% Free Some consumers have U.S. can supply counter-
(apricots, a slightly negative seasonal fruit. Consumers
cherries, peaches, quality perception of want fruits to be available
plums) imported fresh fruits. year round.
Pears $4,764 8% Free Consumer resistance to NZ is one of the first
unfamiliar varieties. markets to get the fresh pear
Citrus Fruit $19,630 8% Free Small market New Zealand consumers
appreciate quality of U.S.
Fruit and $44,322 10% 5-7% U.S. products are Value-added juices/
vegetable Juice expensive compared to concentrates with health and
products from some nutritional benefits have
competitor countries. potential to grow.
Processed Fruits & $218,337 9% 0-5% U.S. products are not U.S. has a reputation of
Vegetables always price supplying good quality
competitive with product. To be successful,
product from China product must be price
and other competitors. competitive.
Dry Fruit (dates, $26,837 11% Free U.S. is price Expanding demand for good
figs, raisins) competitive in raisins; quality and healthy foods.
Dry Nuts $43,380 11% Free Competition from U.S. dry nuts are considered
(almonds/ Australia and other high quality. Market share
walnuts/ countries; need to be can be expanded if price
pistachios) price competitive to competitive and promoted
maintain market share. as healthy and nutritional
Snack food $273,762 13% 0-5% Australia is a leading Strong demand for
(confectionery, supplier. Australia and convenience and snack
cocoa product, New Zealand enjoy food.
cookies) similar tastes/flavors in
Breakfast Cereal $46,186 8% Free Strong competition Strong demand.
Pet Food $75,753 9% 0-5% Price competitive Strong demand for premium
products from products.
Wine $103,222 2% 5% Lack of importers American style Zinfandel
handling U.S. wines and Cabernet Sauvignon
have potential to expand in
Section V: Key Contacts
Agricultural Affairs Office
Foreign Agricultural Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
29 Fitzherbert Terrace
Foodstuffs (Wellington) Co-operative Society Limited
PO Box 38-896
Wellington, New Zealand
Attn: Eve Kelly, Purchase Manager; Andrew Loveridge
Tel: +64-4-527-2510; 04-527-2655
Foodstuffs (South Island) Co-operative Society Limited
167 Main North Road,
Christchurch, New Zealand
Attn: Graham May, Purchase Manager
Foodstuffs (Auckland) Co-operative Society Limited
PO Box CX12021
Attn: Mr. Tony Olson, Purchase Manager
Private Bag 93306
Auckland, New Zealand
Attn: Graham Walker, Business Manager
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
108 The Terrace
Internet Homepage: www.foodstandards.govt.nz
New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA)
68-86 Jervois Quay
PO Box 2835
Phone: +64 4 463 2500
Fax: +64 4 463 2501
Internet Homepage: http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF)
PO Box 2526
Internet Homepage: www.maf.govt.nz
Restaurant Association of New Zealand
P.O. Box 47 244
Auckland, New Zealand
Phone: 64-9- 378-8403
Fax: 64-9- 378-8585
Internet Homepage: www.restaurantnz.co.nz