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A Third Player Ready For The Challenge: Supie Welcomes The Commerce Commission’s Draft Findings Into Supermarket Duopoly

Published: Fri 30 Jul 2021 03:22 PM
New Zealand’s start up grocery alternative Supie is welcoming the Commerce Commission’s draft findings that there is need for more competition in the supermarket sector. Supie founder Sarah Balle, says it reinforces why she launched Supie earlier this year and agrees that the current system is broken.
The draft report released yesterday found that lack of competition in the sector was driving up prices and called for government intervention. But according to Supie, consumers don’t need to wait for the government to regulate change, as a solution is here already. Supie is ready to take on the challenge to be a key third player to drive fairness for customers. Supie believes that consumers have the power to be part of that change by choosing a fairer alternative.
“Everything we do at Supie is centred around fairness- fairness for consumers, fairness for suppliers, and fairness for our planet. Consumers can help to change the broken system and create a better and fairer grocery market in New Zealand. They just need to be mindful of who they are giving their hard earned money to each week.” says Sarah Balle.
It will likely take the government quite some time to implement recommendations provided in this report when it is released in November, so change will not happen overnight. Swifter action can be taken by giving kiwi’s another choice. All New Zealanders deserve to know how their food is bought and sold, and Supie offers that transparency.
Supie rejects comments made by ACT Party Leader David Seymour that the Government should attract an international retailer, such as Aldi, into the market to drive competition.
“We don’t think that another foreign company should be incentivised with tax-payer money to enter the New Zealand market, with profits then being sent offshore. There are risks in bringing in a foreign competitor from a supplier perspective, as it would increase the amount of mass-produced imported products on NZ shelves – and these products will directly compete with locally made products from NZ food producers.” Says Sarah.
Supie supports a New Zealand based solution, that will support New Zealand food producers and build up the amazing brands that we have in New Zealand, so that we can continue to support food innovation here, as well as keeping Kiwis employed.
The team at Supie have worked hard to develop solutions to the barriers to entry/competition that were highlighted in the report. Supie believes an online-only supermarket can deliver the “meaningful” competition that the Commerce Commission is seeking. Supie doesn’t require expensive real estate, which can take years to implement. Offering a solution for New Zealanders now.
Supie says the only barrier it is facing is funding. The New Zealand Governments funding schemes don’t fund supermarket retailers, so New Zealand start-ups, such as Supie, have a barrier to entry and a barrier to grow due to the lack of funding and access to capital. Where foreign retailers can access the deep-pockets of offshore cash.
“We need funding from the government to accelerate growth in New Zealand, to take Supie from being Auckland based, to going nationwide, providing access for all New Zealanders.” says Sarah.
Supie also welcomes funding for other fringe-competitors such as Farro Fresh, and believes this will further increase competition in the market.
“This is meaningful competition that supports all of New Zealand – consumers, suppliers and the environment - that another foreign supermarket will not deliver.”

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