Am I the only person who considers an overseas supermarket a valid tourist destination?
Having eaten myself into oblivion at Hippopotamus, I know I need to walk off some off my dinner. Where better to head than the fluroscent-lit aisles of New World supermarket, an insight into Wellington's grocery habits?
Having spent much of my high school and university life working in supermarkets, I remain fascinated with the layout and merchandising of grocery retailers. I'm quite a fan of the perspex fronted narrow stacking system employed here, which maximises colour and product visibility. It also enables precision stacking which makes everything look so neat and tidy.
I'm even a fan of the pricing signs which resemble chalk on blackboard for the rustic farmers look.
Potatoes, onions and garlic
It's after 11.00pm by the time I arrive, and I'm struck by how neat the store appears. All products are stacked with precision, and it's a relief not to see those annoying metal shelf dividers that plague many Sydney supermarkets.
Two years ago, I'd marvelled at the electronic shelf pricing at New World in Wellington. I find it strange that as far I'm aware, no supermarket in Australia has rolled this out.
Does New Zealand have an especially strong affinity with England? I find the number of imported English products quite amusing, from PG Tips to mushy peas to suet from the days of yore.
Bachelors mushy peas
Shredded vegetable suet and two brands of shortening
Cereal with feijoa
Energy drinks Demon and Angel (no sugar)
Whittakers chocolate blocks
Cadbury Energy Scroggin chocolate
I had a giggle at the name of these until Wikipedia told me scroggin is the colloquial name for trail mix in Australia and New Zealand. Apparently it's an acronym that stands for Sultana grapes, Chocolate, Raisins, Orange peel, Ginger, Glucose (sugar), Improvisation or imagination (where the chef adds a favorite ingredient) and Nuts. I've never seen a scroggin bar in Australia though - have you?
I noticed a lot of smaller boutique brands on shelves, particularly when it came to jams. There seemed to be much less of a monopoly of major brands across most products. Wellingtonians also love their coffee. There were at least 2 bays of packaged coffee beans, most of them roasted and/or blended locally.
I'm sure the colder weather encourages a love of sweets and biscuits. I've become a bit of a fan of Griffin's Krispie which are thin toasted coconut biscuits which are super crisp.
Griffin's gingernuts are a thicker biscuit to the Aussie Arnott's version. I still prefer the Arnott's style which has more golden syrup to create an absolute jaw-breaker of a biscuit.
Shrewsbury and Belgium Biscuits
Both these are distinctly popular with New Zealanders. From what I've gleaned, Belgium biscuits used to be known as German biscuits until the outbreak of WWI when they were renamed European or Belgium biscuits. The Belgium biscuit consists of two cinnamon and spiced biscuits sandwiched with jam and spread with pink icing. Shrewsbury biscuit are similar but without the cinnamon or spice in the biscuit.
These scones were giant-sized - almost as big as a hamburger bun!
7L olive oil
And for the chef who has everything? Why not get them a 7-litre bottle of olive oil with pouring spout?
Grab Your Fork was hosted by Positively Wellington Tourism for Wellington on a Plate. For more information on Wellington, check out http://www.wellingtonnz.com.
Wellington on a Plate ran from 17-30 August 2009. Next year's festival dates have already been confirmed as 14-29 August 2010.
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New World Supermarket
279 Wakefield Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (04) 384-8054
7 days a week, 7am - 12midnight
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
New World supermarket (Aug07)
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9/02/2009 02:18:00 a.m.