Media Releases

Kiwi shopping habits driven by desire to live more sustainably

29 June 2021.

New research shows that 86 per cent of Kiwis are prepared to change the retailers they buy from or the products they buy, in order to be more sustainable.

The new findings are from a Retail NZ-commissioned Colmar Brunton survey of  more than 1,000 respondents which shows that Kiwis are changing their shopping habits to make more sustainable choices.

“Retailers are ultimately consumer-led and are there to deliver the goods and services that customers want, in the way that customers want them,” said Greg Harford, Retail NZ’s Chief Executive.  “The new research shows clear signals that there is more consumer demand than ever for access to sustainable products and services. For 60 per cent of consumers surveyed the top concern is excess and non-recyclable packaging and plastic bags, which remains a significant environmental pollutant. 

“There is growing demand from customers for sustainable products and services, although customers aren’t necessarily following through on their intentions.  59 per cent say that they have made some changes to the way they shop, with a focus on avoiding plastic bags and packaging, but 41 per cent of consumers have yet to make changes.

“Retailers are committed to delivering better outcomes for the planet, their customers and for the people who work in their supply chains.  Substantial progress has already been made over the past few years and as consumers increasingly shop through a sustainability lens, we look forward to seeing even greater gains across the retail sector. 

As part of the survey, consumers were asked to spontaneously identify retailers they consider to be a sustainability leader. 

“The stand-out from this part of the survey is The Warehouse, with 26 per cent of respondents spontaneously identifying the retailer as showing sustainability leadership. Other major chains including New World, Countdown and EcoStore are seen as leaders by between 10 and 14 per cent of respondents.” 

Mr Harford says the consumer feedback is a reflection of the hard work being done by these brands to operate more sustainably and in a customer-led way.

The Warehouse Chief Sustainability Officer, David Benattar, says the company is proud to be recognised by consumers as a sustainability leader in New Zealand.

“It’s good to see that our progress to deliver a greater number of sustainable products and solutions to Kiwis is resonating.

“Our aspiration is to lead and collaborate with the retail industry to make sustainability more widely accessible to Kiwi consumers.”


For further information, please contact:

Greg Harford, Chief Executive, Retail NZ, 027 243 2842

Liezl Hipkins-Stear, The Warehouse Group, 027 706 6035


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