Kiwis feasting on comfort foods during lockdown

Kiwis are stocking up on comfort food during their supermarket missions as the national Covid-19 lockdown enters its third week.

The top rising products purchased online with New World last week are largely made up of potato chips, with purchases of some brands of potato chips up 40 per cent on week one of the lockdown.

Purchases of chocolate biscuits are up 34 per cent, lollies, ice cream and even croissants have jumped 47 per cent with cheese, especially blue cheese (up 26 per cent), proving especially popular with New Zealanders stuck at home. Scotch fillet steak is up 20 per cent.

"We're seeing some of the household rules around occasional or 'treat' foods relax as families reach for comfort food including potato chips, biscuits and confectionery," says Pippa Prain, New World marketing and customer experience manager.

"With every meal, snack, dessert or pick-me-up now eaten at home, consumers are relying on convenience or comfort; convenience to eat something simple and easy-to-make in between conference calls or for the kids during home-schooling lunchtime, or comfort to help relieve stress and perhaps give us a feeling of nostalgia when we grab a nibble that was prevalent in childhood, but not so much now in adulthood."

With no option for takeaways, New Zealanders are looking for new inspiration every day to switch up meals and excite the family when it's time to eat.

"Pre-lockdown, we saw customers reach for prepared meals, like canned meals and instant noodles, pasta, mince, personal wash, home cleaners, bacon, vitamins, canned veggies and long-life milks," Prain said.

"When we moved to full lockdown, purchases were in line with pre-lockdown purchasing behaviours, but there was an increase in snack foods, particularly chips."

Demand for flour is three times the normal levels and Prain says families are getting in the kitchen and keeping the Easter spirit alive with homemade baked goods like hot cross bun pudding and Easter egg nests.

"Whatever you end up cooking or baking this weekend, make sure you treat yourself and celebrate the little moments together in your bubble," she added.

Stores across the country will close tomorrow for Good Friday but will be open for the rest of the weekend.

- NZ Herald

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