New measures to increase access to grocery wholesale

Published: 24 August 2022

As part of its response to the Commerce Commission’s market study into the retail grocery sector, the Government has announced it is taking action to improve access to wholesale groceries.

In the long-term, this will mean that consumers should have more choice of where to buy groceries because there are more retailers that can provide a comprehensive product range at competitive prices.

To improve access, the Government will be requiring major grocery retailers to develop wholesale offerings and consider requests for wholesale supply in good faith.

The Government will also develop a ‘toolkit’ of additional regulatory powers for the Grocery Commissioner and the Government to draw on if these wholesale offerings are not consistent with expectations. This toolkit will include powers for the Grocery Commissioner to shine a light on the major grocery retailer’s wholesale offerings and pricing practices, and for the Government to step-in and require major grocery retailers to provide wholesale supply on certain terms.  

This toolkit will be available as a ‘backstop’ and will ensure the right type of regulation is available as or when needed. It will also provide clarity to market participants on what further action the Government would take to secure improved wholesale access.

Alongside the improvements to wholesale access, the Government is also building some flexibility into its approach to a collective bargaining exemption for grocery suppliers.

Updates on the actions being taken as part of the Government’s retail grocery market study response will continue to be provided as this work progresses.

Read MBIE’s grocery market study webpage

Read the Minister’s press release(external link)

MBIE media contact