Excellence in Long-Term Marketing Strategy 2023

The iconic yellow supermarket, PAK’nSAVE strives to provide Kiwis the lowest food prices, but with less stores than any other competitor and very low advertising spend, the supermarket must work hard to keep Kiwis coming back after so many years. 

When it comes to marketing, PAK’nSAVE is known for its non-flashy, simple stickman advertisements which go hand-in-hand with its wish to give Kiwis the lowest food prices across the board. 

PAK’nSAVE has successfully used this strategy to fend off competitors since 2008. So why does it continue to work? The supermarket decided to stick to its five values to stay on top. 

Firstly, in light of the changing shopping behaviour of cost cutting, PAK’nSAVE made sure to show how costs are being cut. According to research, consumers are more trusting of brands that show how costs are being cut. 

With this in mind the supermarket made sure to promote its small sacrifices, ultimately strengthening its lowest-price position. 

Secondly, despite being a supermarket giant, PAK’nSAVE’s core value is keeping prices low, even if that means stores and advertising looking cheap, which acts as a constant reminder to consumers of the chain’s values.

As an unfortunate side effect of this, the supermarkets efforts to keep things low had led to some consumers feel “like a loser” because of shopping there. 

To combat this, PAK’nSAVE worked to make advertising entertaining and popular to shift perceptions of the brand to be a “smarter choice”. 

PAK’nSAVE has also positioned the fact that it is NZ-owned and owner-operated as something to be proud of rather than something to hide. 

This meant that every decision by the supermarket represents its Kiwi-ness in the best way possible, leaving New Zealanders with the knowledge they are supporting local, especially in light of global brand Costco entering the market. 

Drawing off all these values, PAK’nSAVE’s ultimate goal is to offer lower food costs. In order to do so, research is important to help define the path for growth in light of changing behaviours. 

As of recent, the supermarket was able to find out that key drivers in shopping has now changed to convenience and the overall shopping experience. 

Combining these values, PAK’nSAVE’s marketing strategy has helped its remain on top, elevating it when necessary.

As mentioned, the brand doubled down on reminding shoppers on low prices and focused on store experiences that differed from competitors, such as “Collectible Combat” – a direct nod towards Countdown which use a collectible marketing strategy ultimately driving up prices.

Instead, PAK’nSAVE launched the persona “stickman”, introducing the brand to a younger audience and future generations of shoppers.

With this strategy, PAK’nSAVE has been able to maintain and grow its market share. PAK’nSAVE is also still the preferred supermarket when it comes to lowest priced food. 

Despite being in a cluttered market, PAK’nSAVE has been able to prove its strong brand values from the get-go, which has placed it ahead of the game. 

Excellence in Long-Term Marketing Strategy


Foodstuffs New Zealand

Marketing Initiative

PAK’nSAVE – 17 Year Sticking Power

Marketing Partners

FCB Aotearoa, PHD Media, One Picture

Judges’ Comments

Kept their ego intact and remained steadfast in their commitment to StickMan. Outstanding example of a sustained brand and retail strategy with the bravery to **stick** to it creating a classic cultural icon that represents value for money in every way returning exceptional results.


2degrees, National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, Sharesies, Tegel New Zealand

This article was originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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