Grocery alternative Supie says the government's announcement this afternoon into regulating the grocery sector will not do anything to ease the pain consumers are facing at the checkout. In fact, Supie believes the increased costs due to compliance will have the complete opposite effect.
Supie founder Sarah Balle says putting a regulatory backstop on voluntary wholesale supply is in effect giving more power to the duopoly, as New Zealand’s food system becomes more reliant on the duopoly and their supply chains. This comes at a time that supermarkets are becoming increasingly less trusted, as reported by Consumer NZ last week.
“We have to remember that the duopoly is a business - they will cover their costs to develop wholesale supply and then add a margin before selling to other retailers. Retailers also need to cover their costs and make a margin, resulting in the price that gets charged to consumers. As far as I am concerned this is incredibly inefficient and will not result in cheaper groceries across New Zealand.” says Sarah.
Sarah says Supie’s goal has always been to drive better outcomes for consumers and suppliers and will continue to do that. She says the answer is in getting smarter about how our food system works in New Zealand and how we buy and sell food.
“We need to be innovative and invest in the models that will deliver food and groceries from suppliers to consumers more efficiently. And that’s why we’ve developed Supie, as an online-only supermarket. We don’t have big bricks and mortar stores with big carparks and a big corporate head office. We’ve worked really hard to develop our own direct supply with more than 300 suppliers and an efficient supply model – so that we can pass on cost savings directly to consumers. And the more people who shop with us, the more competitive we can make our prices” Says Sarah.
Since launching in June to Auckland last year Supie has grown to over 20,000 members and is experiencing week on week growth and demand from consumers.