What do people buy following a crisis – a look at last week’s supermarket shelves in Kaikoura
As the Kaikoura community tries to get back to some
semblance of normality following last week's earthquakes the team
at New World Kaikoura have gained an interesting insight into what
customers buy in times of crisis.
Steve Anderson, CEO, Foodstuffs South Island Ltd says, "While
you'd expect water to be top of the list of must buys post-quake,
it turns out the most sought after items are sweet, with over 3,400
packets of lollies and chocolates sold in the first seven days
"Water comes in second equal with biscuits, with both reaching
approximately 3,200 units sold," adds Anderson. "We saw similar
trends following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. When
people are faced with challenging conditions and a lack of power
and amenities the types of food they are looking for, other than
water, is high in energy, easy to carry, and requires zero
preparation. This also explains why in the last seven days New
World Kaikoura sold over 2,400 bags of potato chips."
"After the Christchurch earthquake demand for beer and wine was
strong due to the fact Cantabrians needed to restock their damaged
liquor cabinets. Also, following such a high stress event the odd
beer with friends and family is a good way to relax and find a bit
normalcy," says Anderson. "Beer sales have been strong in Kaikoura
post-quake, but due to damaged stock and supply shortages wine
sales are currently down."
Demand for instant meals naturally increased sharply following
Sunday night's earthquake, in part potentially due to the lack of
power and restricted access to houses, with many people cooking
with gas perhaps on their BBQ's. This meant the need for 'one-pot'
meals that were quick and easy to prepare was critical. Sales of
instant noodles, canned meals, packet and canned soups came in at
around 2,400 units sold in Kaikoura.
"Canned vegetables were a necessity last week and in total
around 2,200 cans of baked beans, spaghetti, peas and other veg
were sold by our New World Kaikoura store," says Anderson.
"The need for caffeine was high with sales of coffee
outstripping tea by two to one," continues Anderson. "And the sale
of shelf stable milk products jumped up with over 1,300 canned and
long life milk products sold over the course of the week."
Customers pets were not forgotten, with over 1,600 units of pet
food sold throughout the week.
While there was a marked absence of fresh grocery products such
as milk, butter, cheese, fresh produce and meat, but thanks to a
special helicopter delivery from Ewing Poultry, eggs were still on
shelf throughout the week.
"I would personally like to thank Civil Defence and the New
Zealand Defence Force who have worked tirelessly to assist us with
ensuring the Kaikoura community has food, water and other essential
items available at their local supermarket," says Anderson.
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