The festive season is knocking the door and it’s the time of the year when everyone plans to prepare special delicacies for different days of the festival season.

In our grocery shopping special feature this week, we spoke to the supermarkets and grocery stores across the city about the growing demand for Indian food products and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in the market.

As per 2014 statistics, $508 million worth of products were imported from India to New Zealand that include retail medicines, motor vehicles, precious metal jewellery, consumer goods and food products. The market for most of the distributers has increased abundantly in the past few years with an exponential growth in demand for products such as Indian spices, snacks, rice, flour, toiletry products and other FMCG.

The demand of Indian products shoots up during festival season beginning with Navratri until Diwali. These days, the market is not just limited to Indian population; Kiwis, South-Asians, and Pacific islanders are also the major customers for the Indian retail outlets.

Auckland alone houses more than 80 Indian grocery stores, at least three in each suburb, and all of them see busy hours throughout the year.

Indian food chains and restaurants have seen increased numbers of footfall over the time, which has led to more Indian restaurants opening in the city. The Air New Zealand Koru Lounge too has a few Indian dishes in their menu as a part of their four-menu cycle that rotates every three months.

Of the many Indian food products in the market, Bikano is the leader with its vast range lip-smacking snack items. Over the years, Bikano’s snacks have been consistent in quality standards and have captured a majority stake in the market.

Spice Bazaar: your one stop grocer

Spice Bazaar is an Indian general grocery and convenience store located in the Mount Roskill area with ample parking facility available on rear of the store.

The store aims to provide a wide range of products with excellent customer service. It promises to bring its customers the essence and joy with the arena of flavours from their homeland right at their doorstep. The goal is to provide the customers with the best products at the prices to fit every house’s budget.

At Spice Bazaar, customers receive high-quality products ranging from flours, spices, rice’s, lentils and pulses, teas, snacks, frozen products, pickles, pastes and mixes and fresh vegetables. The store also provides Western Union service for money transfer.

Spice Bazaar has received rave reviews from its loyal customer base about the operational efficiencies, product line and well-organised store. Spice Bazaar team is committed to a pleasant, clean and healthy customer experience. The store is open to the feedback and constantly works towards better customer service.

Director Madhavi Vora says that the store completes three years of service to the community this year.

The store offers specials before every Indian festival such as Holi, Navratri, and Eid etc. For Diwali this year, the store has puja samagri, diya (lamps), rangoli etc. available for the customers at affordable price.

“We have introduced a new concept in Indian retail market—cleanliness. Good customer service and health-conscious packaging are our specialities. We get a variety of customers as they enjoy shopping with a great atmosphere and the friendly staff,” says Vora.

The store is located at 1241 Dominion Rd Extension, at the corner of the roundabout.

AB International: bringing together a world of goodness

AB International Limited is among the first few companies to offer an extensive range of products that are being imported from India and other countries of the world. Following their concept of ‘bringing together a world of goodness’, the company has a wide range of products to offer. The products of AB International are used by most households in New Zealand.

From its modest beginning in 2001, AB International today has grown to be the major importers and wholesalers of some of the best brands, which are known for their quality throughout the world. The distribution network covers the entire New Zealand. Some of the most popular brands among the kiwis are MTR range of Ready Eat Meals, Mixes and Ready to serve rice, India Gate rice, Bikano snacks, Midas poppadum and chutneys, Frooti mango drinks, Appy (apple nector), Jabson’s snacks and Urja products. Apart from this they also distribute the most famous Dabur, Vatika, Dermoviva and Fem Herbal products.

Other major brands imported and distributed by AB International include Shan products, Rasoi Magic Premixes, Nestle (India) noodles, Tata salt, Ahmed Food Products, Himalaya Health Supplements, Hamdard Pure Almond Oils and many more.

AB International’s imported products are available across all the grocery stores and supermarkets in New Zealand. It also supplies to restaurants, motels and selected chains of hotels in the country.

In October 2013, AB International launched Mera Mobile sim card in collaboration with Vodafone that allows users to call India (and now 23 more countries) from their mobile phone at low calling rates. The customer has to buy a Mera Sim and top it up with Vodafone voucher of $20 dollars.

AB International is actively involved in community support by sponsoring and supporting of several cultural, community welfare and charity projects in New Zealand.

Now shop online with Khyber Spice Invader

Khyber Spice Invader was established in December 2005 by Rajan and Anju Kamboj. Located at 822 Manukau Road, off the Royal Oak roundabout, the store offers a wide range of products needed for the everyday function of a house.

The store caters to the needs of wide range of customers including Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Pacific Islander and Fijian. Over the years there has been an increase in the number of Kiwi customers visiting the store who have started cooking Indian and Fijian dishes.

“We have Kiwi customers who ask for new recipes. My wife Anju also teaches them to cook new types of Indian dishes sometimes,” said Rajan.

The store houses a variety of products such as basic kitchen items, utensils, fresh fruits and vegetables, oil, canned food, packaged groceries, and spices imported from India and Pakistan, small desk temples, puja items such as thread lamps, idols, posters, items used for hawan and rumala sahib for Sikh people.

“Our store has a regular customer base who come not only from nearby suburbs but also from far Central Auckland just because of the service we provide,” says Rajan.

Khyber Spice Invader has recently started their online wing where customers can make their orders online (with a minimum purchase limit) and free delivery service is provided. The store is tsrating VIP membership card from Oct 1, where customers can get points on their purchase and can redeem it later.

During the festive time such as Navratri, Eid, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Diwali the store provides special offers and reduced prices on selected products. The store has opened a new branch in Otahuhu at 539, Great South Road.

The store also provides free food items to religious groups & schools as part of their community services.

Khyber Spice can be accessed online on www.khyberspice.co.nz and can be reached on 09-625-1766.

Harman Impex: making a difference in the grocery market

With the growing popularity of Indian products, Harman Impex caters to the growth of the demand. With the mission of bringing India to everyone plate, Harman Impex lives up to the international standards.

Backed with strong overseas experience, Harman Impex has been importing Indian products in the New Zealand market since 2005, while maintaining and increasing their product range with the growing consumer demand.

Philosophy:

“Having identified the need of bringing this vital industry as organised sector, we today enjoy the status as one of the few pioneers who could sense the emerging needs of tomorrow’s market,” says Manjeet Chawla, Director Harman Impex.

“We sum our philosophy in simple words– all day, every day, quality food reflecting in everything we do to serve our customers. We are committed to engage with our customer and constantly attract new opportunities. We increase the sales by carrying out sampling of our products to the customers at various retail outlets all across New Zealand,” adds Chawla.

Why Harman Impex?

Just in time: Harman Impex believes in stocking their products that helps to serve the customer ‘better’ and ‘in time’.

Pricing: Offering the most reasonable prices and supplying the best quality products in the market, is another factor that makes Harman Impex different than others.

Authenticity: Majority of their products are brought directly from the manufacturers, which ensures the ‘best export quality for the customers. Moreover, it gives the products a better and longer shelf life.

Customer relationship: Building long-term relations with the retailers and understanding their requirements help them to serve and support to our customers better.

We have more than 4000 products in our range. We endeavour to cater to a larger segment of buyers. At present, we are regularly supplying to about 150 to 200 retail Indian ethnic grocery outlets throughout New Zealand. We have also started supplying to another 100 fruit and vegetable and convenience stores that are spread around in the Auckland area. Furthermore, we are also catering to some supermarkets in Auckland who have now become our regular customers,” says Chawla.