A major grocery chain is unable to guarantee bananas will
be available on shelves this week, as a nationwide shortage
New Zealand has the highest rate of banana consumption in the
world per capita, and supplies were expected to be down 30%
Mechanical problems with a ship forced a shipment of New
Zealand-bound Dole bananas to return to the Philippines,
sending grocery chains scrambling to source more from an
already weather-affected supply.
Foodstuffs retail general manager Alan Malcolmson yesterday
confirmed the shortage, expecting it to last three weeks at
The grocery giant, which operates New World, Pak'n Save and
Four Square brands, had sourced Bonita bananas from South
America, which normally make up only a small part of its
banana stock, to alleviate the shortfall.
Asked if customers could expect bananas to be on shelves
24/7, he said that depended on the logistics of getting
Peter Hendry, chief executive of MG Marketing, Foodstuffs'
main banana supplier, said the supply of the fruit for this
week would be down 30% due to the vessel breaking down.
A new shipment was expected to arrive in Auckland on Friday,
with supply to retail expected to be back to normal from the
A spokeswoman for Australian-owned Progressive Enterprises
(Countdown, Fresh Choice and SuperValue) said bananas were
sourced from both the Philippines and Ecuador but some effect
from the shipment delay was expected.
Veggie Boys co-owner Marty Hay said the independent fruit and
vegetable store notified its customers of the shortage last