In 1989, wine and mead became available for sale from grocery stores and supermarkets. This was followed in 1999 with beer. The sale of spirits is not permitted.
The introduction of wine sales into New Zealand supermarkets increased the affordability and consumption of wine markedly. New Zealanders are now drinking twice as much wine as they used to.
There are two major supermarket chains in New Zealand: Woolworths and Foodstuffs.
Alcohol is the biggest selling category in the supermarket. Many New Zealanders buy their alcohol from supermarkets.
On average, the same alcohol product is sold more cheaply from supermarkets than bottle stores.
The number of supermarkets and grocery stores in New Zealand communities has been linked with a range of alcohol-related harms: antisocial behaviour, dishonesty offences, property abuses, property damage, sexual offences and violent offences.
The placement of alcohol in everyday settings, next to commonly purchased products, may normalise alcohol use in our society. Especially among children. New Zealand children are regularly exposed to alcohol in supermarkets.
Tobacco can't be displayed in supermarkets, but alcohol can. Yet alcohol is the most harmful drug in our society.