A South Canterbury French fries manufacturer believes it is "very well positioned to be one of the post-Covid-19 success stories". Makikihi Fries operations manager Stewart Hydes' confidence comes after the company has been able to make significant inroads into supermarkets during level 4 lockdown.
"The supermarket side of the business, which used to be the minority, has grown to the point it's performing extremely well at the moment. We were already pursuing a strategy of knocking on doors prior to Covid-19 trying to increase our penetration into supermarkets. The extra demand that has occurred has really provided a lift - that has been sorely needed, at this particularly difficult time.”
Stewart Hydes continued: "We have experienced a dramatic increase in both the number of supermarket accounts that we have and the volume that individual supermarkets are ordering."
He also said much of Makikihi Fries' sales prior to the lockdown came from restaurants, cafes and fish and chips shops, but that aspect of the business was currently "absolutely dead".
However new business, especially from the North Island, had brought a balance for the company which has been operating for over 30 years. "During this period we now have more than 50 per cent of representation in Pak 'n Save stores in the North Island and that has never happened before in the history of the company. We're really pleased and proud to be bringing our product to people in the North Island, as well as our more traditional customers in the South Island. Makikihi Fries is a minnow in the New Zealand French fries production scene. That isn't going to change anytime soon, we don't really want it to."