Countdown supermarkets give kids free fruit
All 181 Countdown supermarkets across the country are offering free fruit for children.
The fruit is intended for harried parents to offer to children to keep them occupied while shopping in the supermarkets - it is not intended as fruit to be taken home as a replacement for paid shopping.
Supermarket spokesman James Walker said the initiative was trialled at its Botany store in August and was rolled out nationwide on Tuesday following "overwhelmingly positive feedback".
Countdown acting managing director Pat McEntee said Free Fruit For Kids was about encouraging kids to eat healthy snacks and help parents while shopping.
"We know it can be a challenge to do the shopping with hungry kids in tow, so we thought this would make the shopping experience a little easier for families, while also encouraging kids to eat fresh fruit."
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The baskets of fruit were clearly labelled in the supermarkets' produce sections.
They were topped up by staff throughout the day to make sure there was always fruit available, Walker said, adding that the number of pieces of fruit each store gave away to kids varied.
Staff relied on "customer common sense" when it came to how much fruit was taken, rather than staff monitoring the baskets.
The initiative has been a hit on social media, with Countdown estimating about half a million Kiwis know knew of the free fruit due to shares and likes on Facebook.
Supermarkets have been locked in a marketing war aimed at children for some time - Countdown offering TV and film character themed dominoes while New World has its Little Shop range.