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[Updated 27 February 2020]
Stuck for souvenir ideas? Hit the local supermarkets and transform snacks into souvenirs instead. Brimming with crunchy snacks, sweet delights and uniquely-flavoured thirst quenchers, every shopping cart is spacious enough to accommodate these supermarket treats! 😃
Come to New Zealand and you'll find five main supermarket chains such as New World, PAKn'SAVE, Countdown, Four Square and Fresh Choice. During our last trip to New Zealand, we shopped for snacks and chocolates at Countdown in Christchurch! Here's what makes Countdown in New Zealand different from the supermarkets we have back home 😊
Fun facts about Countdown
Did you know they provide free fruits for kids?
As soon as you step into the supermarket, you'll find a basket of free fruits for the kids to enjoy! A wonderful initiative to encourage healthy eating, grab an apple, orange or banana, so your little ones will crave lesser for snacks and sweets when roaming around the aisles 🍎
Did you know they have confectionery free checkout?
Some supermarkets have confectionery-free cash registers so your kids won't be picking up those candy bars when you check out. It also decreases impulse buys, especially for those who can't resist getting chocolates and chewing gums 😏
What to buy at Countdown
That's not the only thing you'll find at Countdown. With many interesting buys, we're excited to share the things that made it to our shopping carts 😍
Disclaimer: Do note that we are not a halal-certifying body and that the information we have derived from checking the information and ingredients available on Countdown's main website. We recommend that you purchase their products at your own discretion. If in doubt, we advise you to explore alternative options.
1. Whittaker's Chocolates
Satisfying Kiwi's chocolate cravings since 1896, it's challenging to resist a bar of Whittaker's. A New Zealand brand through and through, nothing speaks pride than seeing vibrant artisan chocolates, gold-wrapped blocks and bite-sized chocolate slabs dominating the supermarket shelves.
If you're filling up your cart for the folks back home, the colourfully printed artisan blocks double as a wonderful souvenir. Named after popular New Zealand destinations, get the Marlborough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle, Wellington Roasted Supreme Coffee, and Fijian Ginger with Kerikeri Mandarin. The generously-sized golden blocks also come in various flavours such as Dark Ghana, Almond Gold, Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter 😍
Halal status: All Whittaker's chocolate products are halal-accredited by FIANZ except Jelly Tip Block, Toffee Milk Block and Chunks, and Rum and Raisin Block. Click here to check out their halal-certified range.
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2. Pascall Pineapple Lumps
The combination of chocolate and pineapple might pique your curiosity, but Pascall Pineapple Lumps come well recommended - even by our Tourism New Zealand guide! Take a bite out of the chocolate-coated chewy pineapple centre, and allow the tropical flavours to remind you of summertime. There's more in the bag to last an entire afternoon, so share it with your loved ones! 😊
#HHWT Tip: A great way to enjoy Pineapple Lumps is by putting it in the fridge to make it extra chewy!
Halal status: While Pascall Pineapple Lumps are not halal-certified, the gelatin derived from halal-certified beef.
3. Copper Kettle Chips
When salty cravings hit you out of the blue, Copper Kettle Chipsis the perfect remedy. Made with locally grown New Zealand potatoes, these chips are cooked in small batches with sunflower oil before being seasoned with its respective natural flavours.
You'll find a variety of flavours waiting on the supermarket shelves. Keep a lookout for flavours like sea salt as well as sea salt with vinegar that are fine to consume. A bag of chips is definitely enough to last an entire Netflix episode, so grab one for your leisure day in New Zealand 😃 Halal status: While the product is not halal-certified, the potato chips are made from natural ingredients. For flavours like sea salt and sea salt with vinegar, the ingredients include potatoes, sunflower oil, food acids, salt, milk and sugar.
4. Sunny Hill Kumara Chips
Thanks to its sweet flavour and versatility, there are many ways to enjoy kumara (New Zealand sweet potatoes). Whether you like them mashed or barbecued, kumara chips are just as great 😍 You can spot bags of Sunny Hill Kumara Chips(Original) in the local supermarkets. Made without artificial colours or preservatives, you can snack it up or pack it for your colleagues in the office.
#HHWT Fun Fact: In New Zealand, some parents would pack Kumara chips for their kids' school lunches. Lunch boxes are a common sight because some primary schools do not have canteens or pantries like they do in Malaysia and Singapore!
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, the original flavour is made using natural ingredients such as kumara (New Zealand sweet potatoes), maltose, sugar and salt.
5. Nestle Milo Dipped Snack Bars
What a familiar sight to spot Nestle Milo Dipped Snack Bars in New Zealand! Fits perfectly in your pocket, these snack bars are a great combination of crispy cereal pieces and nutritious chocolate and malt powder. Infused with white chocolate for a punch of sweetness, it'll keep your energy level up when you're feeling low 💪
Our co-founder Suzana shared that the price in New Zealand (NZD4 per box) is cheaper compared to the ones in Singapore (SGD6 per box). However, we were fortunate to find these snacks on sale! Fingers crossed for better deals on your next trip to Countdown supermarket.
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, the ingredients are Muslim-friendly.
6. CookieTime The Original Chocolate Chunk Cookie
The moment we landed in New Zealand, we were gifted with CookieTime The Original Chocolate Chunk Cookie. Size matters for some dessert lovers, and this one is as huge as the palm of your hand! Beautifully baked with chocolate chunks (not chips!), it's really soft and chewy. You can also find these cookies in the New Zealand airports, so you can enjoy it on your flight back home ✈️
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, they use Muslim-friendly ingredients.
7. Manuka Honey
The sweeter things in life begin with Manuka Honey ! Straight from a Manuka tree and into a jar, it's a must-have in every shopping cart. Since it's made in New Zealand, the local price is definitely cheaper than the imported products back home.
There are many ways to enjoy Manuka honey, from stirring it into a cup of tea to mixing it with various baked goods. However, this product is better known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits. Taking a spoonful of Manuka honey is also good to treat colds! 💪
#HHWT Tip: Manuka honey is scored based on the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) and Methylglyoxal content (MGO; an antibacterial component). Generally, Manuka honey with high UMF and MGO is more concentrated and expensive than the rest. The UMF and MGO scales go from the lowest (UMF 5+ / MGO 83+) to the highest (UMF 22+ / MGO 1000+).
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, it is made from natural honey (unless specified).
8. Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Milk
Dairy is a childhood favourite, but nothing beats the milky flavours of Lewis Road Creamery Milk. From a converted shipping container in Lewis Road to a full-fledged business, this New Zealand brand has definitely come a long way. They have a number of flavours, and everything is sourced from the local cow farms in different parts of the country.
Lewis Road Creamery constantly surprises with unique flavours such as gingerbread spiced milk, double espresso and strawberry. Whether you like them with cereal or cookies, it'll definitely delight the young at hearts! ❤️
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, they use fresh milk and natural flavouring (unless specified for flavoured milk).
9. Lemon And Paeroa (L&P)
Do you know what else goes well with fish and chips in New Zealand? Reach out for a sip of L&P (Lemon & Paeroa). They call it the 'good lemony stuff', and we call it a refreshing thirst quencher. Essentially lemon juice mixed with carbonated water from Paeroa town, this one is also fantastic to drink on a sunny afternoon 😃
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, this soft drink is made with ingredients such as carbonated water, sugar, food acid, flavour, mineral salt, and colouring.
10. Fix & Fogg Peanut Butter
Fix & Foggis a homegrown New Zealand brand, so you can buy it cheaper here than anywhere else in Australia, Singapore, the United States and the Philippines where this peanut butter is also exported. If you're curious about its name, the founders were inspired by the characters named Phileas Fogg and Detective Fix from the classic novel, 'Around The World In 80 Days' 😃 Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, they use natural ingredients that are also suitable for vegetarians.
11. Tom & Luke Snack Balls
Tom & Luke, the founders of this New Zealand brand, were friends for almost a decade before they decided to create these healthy, nutrient-rich snack balls. Comes in several flavours like zesty lemon & coconut, salted caramel, and cacao mint & almond, the ingredients are purely vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free making it the perfect whole foods snack to bring when you hit the road.
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, it consists of natural ingredients that are also vegan and dairy-free.
12. NZ Kettle Korn
If you enjoy munching on popcorns, you'll definitely enjoy NZ Kettle Korn. Made in New Zealand, this popcorn is made using all-natural ingredients and also cooked using corn oil. So what you're getting is a bag full of crisp and light bites minus the guilt. Some of the flavours you can try to include lightly salted and slightly sweet, sea salt, and cinnamon caramel.
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, all of their ingredients are vegan, peanut-free and dairy-free. They also use sunflower oil during food preparation.
13. Pic's Peanut Butter
Imagine spreading layers of smooth Pic's Peanut Butter on a piece of toast and enjoy every bite of it for breakfast. Founded by Pic Picot, a Kiwi himself, everything is freshly prepared in Nelson, New Zealand using Australia's legendary Kingaroy nuts as its main ingredient. Whether you're a fan of smooth or chunky peanut butter, you're going to enjoy both!
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, it mainly consists of two ingredients: peanuts and salt (unless specified).
14. Serious Popcorn
Another snack that is worth trying is New Zealand-made Serious Popcorn. Founded by Roger Holmes who spent his childhood harvesting corn from his family farm, he's all about creating sustainable snacks that use primarily organic ingredients that are free from chemicals and preservatives. Currently, there are three flavours to try including sea salt, sweet & salty, and peanut butter & almond.
Halal status: While this product is not halal-certified, it consists of whole grain and organic ingredients, and they use coconut oil during food preparation.
Credit: GiphyWe hope you have enough baggage allowance for the souvenirs you're about to bring! Besides the chocolates, snacks and thirst-quenchers above, there are more supermarket finds to discover in New Zealand 😊 Watch HHWT Vlog: Supermarket Shopping For Muslim-Friendly Snacks In New Zealand
If you spent more time shopping in New Zealand's supermarket, let us know what's great to buy, and we'll add it to our list. Till then, happy shopping! 😃