Tomatoes selling for 9 cents a kg in Hastings

The Hastings Pak ‘n Save supermarket today sprung possibly a nationwide 10-year-first with a one-day only sale of tomatoes at 9 cents a kilogram.

The supermarket’s Facebook post said there were 4 tonnes to go, and Tomatoes NZ general manager Helen Barnes said generally supermarket tomato prices only occasionally went below $2 a kilogram.

“I think the last time we heard of anything like that was about 10 years ago when we couldn’t export to Australia because of a pest in the growing industry,” she said

“They wouldn’t be making any money at that price,” she said. “Maybe a loss-leader getting people in the door, but that’s about all.”

She said prices had been good during the season but there is an oversupply of stock towards the end of the season because of the lack of exports in the coronavirus crisis.

Rival Countdown had tomatoes advertised on-line around $3.00 a kilogram, and with the Hastings Pak ‘n Save bargain around for just the one day, with limits on supply per customer, there wasn’t expected to be any price-war, the most notable of which happened when Countdown first appeared in Hawke’s Bay over 30 years ago, prior to the arrival of Pak ‘n Save.

Countdown’s offer on bread and packets of 10 sausages for about $1.00 at that time sparked an across-town frenzy that Napier paper and Hawke’s Bay Today predecessor The Daily Telegraph dubbed “The Mother of all Bread Wars” – with supermarkets dropping the bread price to 5 cents a loaf and supplies barely baked and deliveredbefore filling the trolleys heading back out the door.

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