Countdown undergoes major revamp of in-house products

  • News
  • April 14, 2016
  • Holly Bagge
Countdown undergoes major revamp of in-house products

The Countdown Select and Signature Range products that most Kiwis are familiar with will eventually come under the name ‘Countdown’, a Countdown release says, while a new ‘Essentials’ range will also be launched to replace Homebrand.

Essentials will hit shelves in May and will be a value-offering including commonly purchased necessities. The revamped Countdown brand will also start appearing but the full transition will take a couple of years.

And this is more than just a packaging change, says Countdown general manager of merchandise Chris Fisher. “We are reinvigorating our own brand products and reviewing each one over time to ensure we are delivering easily identifiable, quality products that suit our customers’ needs at low prices.”

So, why the change?

“We asked our customers about what they want from our own brand products in the future,” Fisher told StopPress. “They told us they want great value and a refreshed design. They also want it to be easier to choose the own brand product best for them. This means introducing changes to our own brand products,” he says.

Fisher wouldn’t reveal which agency or design company is working on the refreshed brands or the newly launched Essentials range, but he did give a few hints as to what the design elements might look like.

“The new Countdown and Countdown Essentials range is about offering great quality products at low prices every day,” he says. “We’ve brought this to life in the product packaging by using clear, honest and straightforward designs. We want the quality of the products to speak for themselves.”

While it could be argued there’s a perception proprietary products are of a lower quality than other branded products, Fisher says the products have been developed based on what customers tell Countdown they’re looking for.

“They have all been sourced by our expert chefs and food technologists and tried and tested by our customers before they reach the shelf, so customers know they’re getting consistent big brand quality at a lower price,” he says.

“We have a quality assurance programme that ensures safe and consistent quality of our own brand products.”

He says the ‘Countdown’ range will include hundreds of popular everyday products across a number of categories. “The Countdown range is a dynamic brand that will evolve and changes according to customer tastes to ensure we’re always exceeding expectations with our own brand range.”

Traditionally, homebrand products have featured very basic designs, but there does seem to be a shift in this regard, with some retailers investing in their proprietary brands.  

Countdown is following in the footsteps of Foodstuffs (owner of New World, Four Square and Pak’nSave), which enlisted Brother Design to revamp its Pams range, resulting in the agency winning multiple awards.


Brother Design's reworking of the the Pams product range was typified by attractive design, more akin to traditional branding than that usually associated with an in-house product range.

Mitre 10 is another retailer that has also given its proprietary brands an injection of cash in recent years. 

Following its acquisition of 14 private labels in 2012, Mitre 10 introduced new brands Jobmate (for the builder) and Number 8 (for the thrifty DIYer) and reworked the branding of Nouveau (for the decorator).

Following the launch of the product range, customer research indicated that all three brands resonated with their specific target markets and this is also being reflected in the sales figures, which put Mitre 10 on track to achieve its lofty sales targets in 2015 (the retailer also won a TVNZ-NZ Marketing award for the success of the project last year).

Across the broader Kiwi market, private label products (in-house brands) are integral to the retail market, with Nielsen data showing that 12 percent of products sold in supermarkets fall within this category

However, the latest MAT (moving annual total) data shows private label product sales declined 3.7 percent compared to sales from the previous year, providing a possible explanation for why supermarket giants are investing in their own stock.

Nielsen’s data shows its branded products that are experiencing growth (3.8 percent) compared to private label products—which in turn provides a strong indication of how valuable branding and design is on the supermarket shelves. 

A Countdown release says the majority of Countdown’s own brand products will continue to be sourced in New Zealand, with more than 70 percent of its own brand products being sourced here currently.

This story was originally published on StopPress.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

The $200 million-plus direct sales economy contains many lessons retailers can use. As part of a wider look at this thriving corner of retail, we created a quick explainer showing how this business model typically works.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the upliners

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the upliners

We profiled different participants in the direct sales industry to find out what retailers can learn from them. Meet Isagenix distributors Adam Nesbitt and Bianca Bathurst.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the business builder

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the business builder

As part of a wider story looking at what retailers can learn from the direct sales industry, we profiled Isagenix distributor Ben Frost.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Leveling up: Exploring multi-level marketing in New Zealand

Is the $200 million-plus direct sales economy retail by another name or something different? Regardless, what can we learn from it?


A spectrum of retailers

  • Opinion
  • April 18, 2019
  • David Farrell
A spectrum of retailers

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, retail commentator Dave Farrell considers the role of those on the spectrum in retail.

Read more

How on-trend is your retail business?

  • Sponsored Content
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sponsored content
How on-trend is your retail business?

New insights from Visa highlight five evolving trends emerging from savvy retailers around the world. We’ve taken these global trends and looked at how they are playing out with merchants in New Zealand, and we’d now like to hear what you think of them.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit