Meal Kit Buying Guide

Everything you need to know about meal kit delivery services in NZ!

Within the last decade, meal kits have exploded in popularity! From My Food Bag to Hello Fresh, meal kits have become a staple in many Kiwis’ lives, providing them with an easy way to have tasty and nutritious meals every night!

If you’re looking to join the meal kit craze then you’ve come to the right place! Read on for our comprehensive guide about all the meal kits you can get in Aotearoa!

The main things to consider!

Meal kits can be a fantastic way to save money, cut down on food waste, add nutrition to your diet and save time on cooking!

When it comes to choosing the right meal kit delivery service, it all comes down to what’s important for you.

Some key things to consider:
• How much does it cost? Will it fit into your weekly budget?
• How customisable are the meals? Are there vegan, diary free, etc. options?
• What’s the ordering and delivery process like?
• How easy are the meals to make? Do they take as much time as the instructions say?
• Are the meals nutritionally balanced? Are you getting meals that are tasty AND healthy?

The best way to answer these key considerations is by taking up a free trial with all the meal kit delivery services that you’re interested in! You’ll find out which company is right for you before having to commit to a longer subscription.

To help you decide who to start a free trial with, we’ve rounded up all the information you need to know about the main meal kit companies in the country!

Too much choice at the markets? Meal kits help with decision fatigue!

My Food Bag

My Food Bag launched in 2013 and ushered in a new era of meal kits, all about giving Kiwis the ability to enjoy fresh, tasty and balanced meals at home that require little effort! My Food Bag features recipes inspired by renowned chef Nadia Lim, uses fresh New Zealand produce, and offers flexibility with no lock-in contracts and the ability to skip deliveries. Their plans are super customisable, with gluten-free, plant-based, gourmet and vegetarian options! In terms of pricing, it sits in the middle at $15.80 per meal. While it’s not the most expensive, it’s still not the cheapest, but they do offer free delivery and it’s a lovely, changing kit.

The author of this piece is a My Food Bag fan and not afraid to say it! So if you want to get started on one of the meal kits we would recommend My Food Bag. Always a great first order incentive too – check out their latest sign up promotions here.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh has made a name for itself across the globe by offering up fresh seasonal meals that are easy to prepare. The key draw is how simple the meals are to make (some take as little as 20 minutes) and how easy the ordering process is thanks to their smartly designed app which allows for a lot of customisation over your plan. Also, Hello Fresh won’t break the bank! It’s our second cheapest option on our list at $11.99 per meal! Unfortunately though, they don’t offer free delivery like most of the other companies.

Bargain Box

If you’re looking to save your money, then Bargain Box is for you! This delivery service is the cheapest option on our list ($11.50 per meal) so it’s perfect for families or those on a budget. Even though it’s cheap as chips, it still delivers incredibly delicious meals right to your door. Bargain Box has options to feed up to 6 people, uses fresh NZ ingredients and delivers tasty classic Kiwi recipes that even the kids will enjoy! If you’re after fancy gourmet meals then this one might not be your cup of tea. But with the low prices, hearty meals AND free delivery, it’s definitely one that busy families should consider!

Woop

Looking for quick, tasty and gourmet meals delivered right to your door? Then Woop is the one to try! They’re all about crafting exquisite, mouth-watering meals that are easy to put together. Using locally sourced ingredients, they offer meal kits that are well-balanced and healthy. Plus, they make things super flexible- you can change, pause or switch your order at any time! However, they only deliver to a smaller number of areas across the country compared to other companies who deliver to most of Aotearoa. Also, the gourmet recipes do come at a cost. Woop is the most expensive service at $19.87 per meal. But they do offer free delivery!

Fresh Start by My Food Bag

Let’s face it…eating healthy is hard! It requires a lot of time, energy and thinking. But it doesn’t have to be this tough! Just sign up to Fresh Start! Run by My Food Bag, this meal kit delivery service is all about helping you achieve your healthy eating goals. They offer recipes that are lower in gluten, dairy, and use unrefined carbohydrates. They also have vegetarian options, of course! Not only are the meals healthy, they’re also crazy delicious! Fresh Start also offers additional support to customers via nutritional advice and rewards. The one downside is that Fresh Start is on the pricey side at $17.20 per meal. It comes in as the second most expensive option, just behind Woop. However, if you’re keen on getting healthy, this may be the best AND easiest way to start your journey!

FED

Does preparing and cooking your meal kits sound like too much effort? Then Fed. is the service for you! Fed. offers meals prepared by chefs that you simply heat and eat in 5 minutes or less! They offer heaps of fantastic meals and don’t lock you into a contract offering you greater flexibility. The price is on the higher side at $16.00 per meal but with the convenience that this delivery service brings, it may well justify the price. If you’re one of those super busy people with no time, then this is a great option for you!

Made by My Food Bag

Another fantastic heat and eat option is Made! Created by My Food Bag, Made is a meal kit delivery service that offers customers tasty meals that can be popped in the microwave or oven then eaten straight away. These freshly made meals are perfect for those in a rush. What’s even better is the price! $13.99 per meal! But unfortunately, they don’t offer free delivery. While slightly less gourmet than Fed., Made still offers scrumptious meals at a very good price!

At the end of the day, the right meal kit delivery service will come down to your personal needs. We recommend trying a bunch out by taking up their fantastic joining deals to see if you like one or not. So dive in now and find out which one is best for you!

Head to the Free Voucher Codes website and find all the best meal kit deals to help start your meal kit journey today! Compare now!

Washing Machine Buying Guide

Here’s a handy PriceMe guide on all the things you should consider when purchasing a new washing machine in 2022!

Washing machines are one of the most important appliances in your house. They are fantastic machines that keep our clothes clean and fresh. They can tackle tough stains and delicate clothes all with a push of a button. It’s a vital tool in our life. So if you’re on the hunt for a new washing machine then there are few things you’ll want to consider before making your purchase.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled everything you need to know into one place. Read on to find out all you need to know, or compare washing machine prices and features here.

Front Loader vs. Top Loader

The major consideration when choosing a washing machine is whether you go for a front loader or a top loader.

Front loaders have an opening on the front of the appliance, so they can be installed easily in a variety of places. They work by piling the clothes at the front and spinning them around. Front loaders are very energy and water efficient. They’re great for delicate clothes as they offer gentler cycles than top loaders. With fast spin cycles, front loaders have short drying times. However, they take longer to get through washing cycles and you can’t stop them mid-wash to add more clothes in. Also, if the model is too water efficient, it can cause towels to feel scratchy and stiff. All in all, if you’re after a washing machine that can be installed in different places with ease and you’ve got a lot of delicate clothes then go for a front loader.

On the other hand, top loaders have an opening on top of the appliance, making them easier to load than a front loader. Top loaders wash your clothes either by spinning around an agitator (a central pole in the drum) or by having water pulse and pushed up due to the impeller (a small bump containing a disk-shaped propeller at the bottom of the drum). Top loaders have faster cycle times, allow you to add more clothes mid-wash and usually have a larger capacity. Also, they’re often cheaper than front loaders. However, they aren’t as gentle, being more likely to cause wear and tear to your clothes. Plus, they use more water and energy. All in all, if you’re after a washing machine that will remove dirt and stains on non-delicate clothes then go for a top loader.

Size is key!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to decide on which washing machine to get, a great place to start is with the actual size of the machine. Make sure that the one you want fits into your space. So check out the measurements of the machine you want and remember to take into account things like cords, hoses and plugs. You’ll want to make sure there’s some space (approximately 5cm) around the machine to make installation easy, create better airflow and allow space for vibration. If you’re in a smaller place or want to fit the machine under a benchtop then a front loader will be best. Just check that there’s no wall mouldings or other interferences that’ll stop you from opening the door. On the other hand, if you’re keen on a top loader then make sure there’s enough space for you to open the lid with no obstructions blocking your way.

A quality, reliable washing machine makes a lot of difference when running a household

Get the right capacity for your household

Capacity refers to how much you can load into the washing machine. The capacity of your washing machine should match how many people live in your house.

A general guide to size from Noel Leeming:
1-2 people = <6kgs

3-4 people = 6-8kgs

5+ people = >8.5kgs

For a more specific calculation of the capacity you need, weigh a basket holding the maximum amount of laundry you’ll load into the washing machine.

Getting a washing machine with the correct capacity is super important. Get one that’s too small and you’ll have to do multiple loads. Get one that’s too big and you’ll be wasting power and water. If you get the right size for your household, you’ll save on time and money whilst being more energy efficient!

You MUST check the energy and water rating!

Energy and water efficiency is super important! Finding a machine that uses less energy and water is key as it’ll be cheaper to run. So look for the energy rating labels! The more stars, the more energy and water efficient the machine will be. Just make sure to compare the star ratings of similar sized machines. Otherwise, if you’re comparing different sized machines then use the annual consumption figure.

Cycles, speeds and more features to consider

As with any appliance you buy, there are some extra features that may help your purchasing decision. Many machines offer different spin cycles and speeds. Spin speeds between 400-1800 allow for greater options when you’re wanting to wash different materials. Faster spin speeds result in faster drying cycles too. You may want to consider if the machine offers cycles for woollens or delicates. Most top loaders don’t have these cycles so you may want to consider a front loader. Also, some machines have auto-cleaning cycles which will kill any bugs or mould in the machine.

Some machines have a feature called ‘out of balance’ or ‘auto balance’ which will stop your load from clumping by gently readjusting it. This is important if you want to leave the machine going overnight and not have to worry about your load.

Some machines have delay features, Wi-Fi or are app enabled, allowing you to set the washing to start and stop whenever you want.

Also, there are cold wash only machines which heat up the cold water rather than needing to be hooked up to your hot water supply. These machines are often much more energy efficient!

Washing machine or dryer? Why not BOTH!

Washer-Dryer Combos are becoming increasingly popular. They combine a washing machine and a sensor dryer into one. They’re fantastic if you’re tight on space as they’re super compact. They also make life easier as you can go from washing straight to drying without having to take your clothes out of the machine. Plus, they’re more water efficient!

Buying second-hand or brand new?

When it comes to washing machines, it can be tempting to buy second-hand. But there are many more risks that come with buying second hand. You really have to be sure that you’re getting a great product that will last, otherwise you’ll just be wasting your money. Therefore, we still recommend getting a brand new one. After all, it’s one of the most important appliances in your house!!

Choosing the right washing machine will allow you to live more stress-free! So, go out there and find the one that meets your exact needs. It may seem overwhelming but if you follow our guide, you’ll be walking home with a washing machine you love!

Not sure where to start looking? Jump onto PriceMe now!! Simply search which washing machine you’re looking for and then compare them side-by-side. It couldn’t be easier!

Compare Washing Machine Prices here.

Norton AntiTrack delivers the ultimate protection against tracking! 

Norton AntiTrack delivers the ultimate protection against tracking! 

If you are worried about being tracked online? Then you need to get this security product! 

No matter where you go online, you’re likely always being tracked! Trackers are constantly looking at what you’re doing, sending this information off to create targeted ads or information for you that in turn manipulates your online behaviour.

Worrying stuff right?!

Luckily for you, Norton has created the perfect solution… Norton AntiTrack! Norton’s new security extension provides the ultimate protection against tracking and helps ensure your privacy as you surf the web. It’s packed with incredible features that make it a must have for your internet security!!

Blocks cookies and fingerprinting! 

Norton AntiTrack is currently available on Windows PC and stops you from being tracked by blocking cookies and fingerprinting. 

If you’re not aware, two of the main ways that you’re being tracked online are through cookies and fingerprinting.

Cookies help websites remember information about you so they don’t constantly have to ask you for it. The problem is with third-party cookies where one website will pull in advertisements or information from another website, placing cookies on your system. Advertisers can then link your activity by using these cookies and start tracking your online movements. On the other hand, fingerprinting is where various factors that can be tracked through your browser like your browser version, screen resolution, available fonts on your computer, etc. are turned into an algorithm that creates a unique fingerprint to identify you. This can be used to track you.


We know those both sound pretty scary and to put it lightly…they are. So it’s great to know that Norton AntiTrack is fantastic at blocking BOTH cookies and fingerprinting! 

AntiTrack uses advanced technology to stop cookies from collecting your personal data and uses anti-fingerprinting protection to help obscure your online information. We could dive into the nitty-gritty technical stuff on how AntiTrack is blocking your trackers but the easiest thing to say is that it works. It works extremely well at stopping cookies and obscuring your digital fingerprint.

Norton has really gone above and beyond, using their wealth of internet security knowledge to implement complex systems on AntiTrack that keep you hidden online. So companies won’t be able to find out your information or use it to influence you!

Protection as you need it, while surfing the web.

Surf the web uninterrupted – but protected

As you’ve probably noticed, everywhere you go online, you’ll be greeted by hundreds of ads. Therefore, you may be worried that if you start to block tracking, websites won’t run normally. But you don’t need to stress because the great thing about Norton AntiTrack is that it keeps you protected from tracking without impacting your online experience! 

So, you’ll still be able to surf the web just as you normally do. The only difference is that Norton AntiTrack will be working away in the background, blocking any trackers that come your way! 

If in the rare chance you think Norton AntiTrack is affecting your experience on a website, then you can easily go to the settings feature and disable AntiTrack. You can turn it on or off for specific websites at your convenience. While you’ll likely never have to do this, it’s great that Norton gives you so much control over your online experience and better yet, makes it super simple to do! 

So sit back, relax and go about your online business as usual. Let Norton AntiTrack take care of your pesky trackers! 

Stay informed with the dashboard

Want to stay informed on your trackers? Well Norton AntiTrack has you covered! It features a handy dashboard that displays important information on what trackers are being blocked. 

So whenever you like, you can simply look at the dashboard and you’ll see all the important statistics on what AntiTrack is doing when you surf the web. You can see three key pieces of information. You can see whether the product (AntiTrack) requires any attention, what is being blocked – broken down into categories like ads, shopping or social media, and finally you can see your top trackers – with a list of different trackers, their tracking frequencies and level of concern.

Norton AntiTrack makes it super easy to monitor everything that’s tracking you, keeping you well-informed! 

What’s great is even though the dashboard IS super useful…you don’t have to look at it! Norton AntiTrack works all by itself and you never have to manually do anything after you’ve installed it. Simply leave it to do its own thing and it’ll keep you protected from trackers! So keep living your busy digital life, Norton AntiTrack’s got you covered!

Best of all, it’s super simple and easy to use!

The great thing about using Norton AntiTrack is that it’s so simple! Just install it onto your computer and pick the web browser you use. Then you’re all set. Yes, that’s it! Now you can browse the web confidently, knowing that you’re constantly being protected by AntiTrack.

What’s our final verdict?

Norton AntiTrack delivers incredible protection against online tracking. It uses advanced technology to stop cookies and fingerprinting tracking whilst never interrupting your browsing experience. It’s super easy to install, set up and will immediately start protecting you without you having to do a thing. It gets bonus points for being super easy to monitor and control with the handy dashboard!

Not to mention that Norton has been one of the most trusted brands in internet security for over 25 years! This company is super reliable and effective. On average, they stop 7 million cyber-security threats a day! So with all this experience, you know you can count on them delivering a fantastic security product. Norton AntiTrack is no exception!

So don’t let trackers control your online life anymore! Take back your privacy today!

Get Norton AntiTrack!

Television (TV) Buying Guide

Here’s a handy PriceMe guide on all the things you should consider when purchasing a new TV in 2022

Buying a new TV can often feel overwhelming! There are so many options to choose from and a lot of confusing terminology that surrounds them. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered! We’ve outlined all the aspects you should consider when purchasing your new TV!

Choose a screen to suit you and the room!

One of the most important things to consider is the size of the TV you’re after. The size you need will come down to where you’re going to put it. TVs are measured diagonally in inches and can range from less than 20 inches to over 80 inches. If you’re putting your TV in a bedroom, kitchen or small apartment, then opt for one that’s 24 to 43 inches. If it’s for your living room or home theatre, then one that’s 50 to 65 inches would be better suited. If you want an incredibly immersive experience then get one that’s 70+ inches (although it will dominate the room). Other factors that may impact your decision is how many people will be watching the TV at the same time as well as the quality of the screen (Ultra HD 4K models with their increased quality means you can sit closer to the TV).

Resolution is king! 

Resolution refers to how many pixels make up your screen. More pixels means a higher quality picture. The main resolution types to choose from are Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or Ultra HD 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels). While the industry standard has been Full HD for a long time, we’d recommend opting for a Ultra HD TV as they’re relatively affordable, deliver incredible picture quality and will ensure that your TV lasts well into the future. Nowadays, there’s heaps of content to watch in Ultra HD (4K) with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube and more, supporting the higher resolution. 

There’s also 8K TVs that deliver insanely sharp and detailed images but they’re super expensive and there’s not much 8K content available at the moment. So we’d recommend holding off on buying one of them!  

Think carefully about the screen type

The type of technology in your TV screen will also affect how good your movies and tv shows will look! The main screen types to choose from are LCD, LED, OLED and QLED. 

The most common type of screen you’ll find when shopping is an LED LCD screen. They use LCD (liquid crystal display) panels and create colours through LED (light-emitting diode) backlighting. The lighting is either ‘edge’ (LEDs around the edge of the panel pointing in) or ‘array’ (LEDs across the screen). ‘Edge’ results in slimmer TVs while ‘array’ offers better picture quality. 

More recently, we’ve seen the rise of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens. These are the best screens available as each pixel is its own light source, meaning there’s no backlighting required unlike LED screens. This results in more vibrant colours and deeper blacks. However, OLED screens are quite expensive.

There’s also QLED (quantum dots) which uses a very different technology but offers a similar picture quality to OLED. QLED is mostly seen in Samsung TVs and is slightly cheaper than OLED.  

So if you’re keen to splash out then go for an OLED or QLED. But for most people, LED LCD screens will be just fine, offering fantastic picture quality at an affordable price!

Unlock even better quality

To get an even greater display, make sure to look into HDR and higher refresh rates! HDR (high dynamic range) is the latest feature in Ultra HD (4K) TVs which delivers more colours, brightness and higher contrast. Images are incredibly rich and vivid, capable of delivering billions of colours unlike non-HDR TVs which can only manage millions of colours. So if you want the best picture quality, then make sure your new TV has HDR!

The other thing to look into is refresh rate. Refresh rate refers to how many times per second the screen changes an image. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the image. This is great for sports or video games as it’ll keep all the action looking clear and smooth. The only issue is that it can make movies look ‘dull’ or ‘flat’ as there’s no motion blur. So if you’re a sports fan or gamer then think about getting a TV with a higher refresh rate!

Make sure your TV’s as smart as you… or smarter

Most TVs you’ll come across are Smart TVs, meaning they come with built-in WiFi, allowing you to stream Netflix, Neon, Disney+, Youtube and so much more! Many Smart TVs will let you surf the web, use voice commands and connect with your other devices such as phones or tablets. Smart TVs make the user experience much easier since you can access all your apps using just one remote! However, not all Smart TVs offer the same features. So double check that the Smart TV you want has all the apps and features that you require!  

Got all your connections?!

Don’t overlook the ports on your TV! Make sure you’re able to plug in all of your cables and devices. Most audio-visual cables or devices connect to your TV via HDMI so you want to make sure you’re getting at least 3 or more HDMI ports. Also, look into whether you need the newer HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 ports to connect your Ultra HD components. Of course, there are other ports like USB or multimedia ports that may be important- it just depends on what you’ll be using your TV for. Finally, if you’re going to mount the TV to the wall then find one which has plenty of ports on the sides and bottom rather than on the rear. 

Don’t forget about sound! 

When we think about a great TV, we tend to solely focus on the image and forget about sound. With so many TVs getting slimmer and slimmer, this has left little room for speakers, resulting in poorer audio quality. So we recommend you get a soundbar! Soundbars are long horizontal speakers that sit in front of your TV or can often be mounted to the wall. They deliver incredibly rich and full sound. While you could opt for a surround sound system, we still suggest a soundbar as it’s much more affordable and easier to set up. Otherwise, if you’re really set on just getting a TV then see if there are any that specialise in great sound quality. 

Stick with a trusted brand?

When there’s a seemingly endless amount of TVs to choose from, often it can be easiest to go with a brand that you know. With well-known brands like Sony, LG or Samsung offering a variety of TVs, it’s sometimes best to go with one of their products as you know you’ll be getting a quality TV. On the other hand, sometimes lesser known companies will offer a TV that’s truly exceptional, attracting people with specific needs and a smaller budget – because you do pay for that brand.

In the end, the best TV will be the one that meets your specific needs. Have a good think about what you want out of your TV and find one that delivers on just that. It may feel daunting but if you consider the key factors we’ve outlined, you’ll be able to find a fantastic TV in no time!

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Mobile Phone Buying Guide

Here’s a handy PriceMe guide on all the things you should consider when purchasing a new phone in 2022

Nowadays, we don’t go a minute without looking at our phones! We use them in almost every part of our life. So when it comes to choosing a new phone, it’s important to find one that meets exactly your needs.

To help you figure this out, read the handy PriceMe guide on all the things you should consider when purchasing a new phone!

A screen to suit you!

Since we’re looking at our phones for hours on end, you need to make sure the screen is right for you. Firstly, the size. Do you want a small screen that’s compact, easy to reach all four corners and will fit in your pocket? Or do you want a larger screen that’s great for scrolling through social media and watching videos? Secondly, the resolution of the screen is important. Make sure you’re getting a good quality screen with high resolution like QHD, AMOLED or OLED.

iOS or Android?

The experience that you have on your phone greatly depends on your operating system. iOS is Apple’s operating system that’s very straight-forward, easy to use and integrates incredibly well with other Apple devices. On the other hand, there’s Android which covers a large variety of smartphones. Android is generally more customisable than iOS and is packed with a ton of features that’ll let you make the phone exactly what you want (if you put in the effort to do so).

What’s inside the phone is super important!

Another key factor that determines your experience on your phone is the processor that’s inside. If you’re buying a top of the line phone, you’ll be getting a great processor that delivers fast performance and will handle anything you throw at it. If you buy a budget phone, however, you may not always see these fast speeds. So, it’s important to check what’s inside the phone to see if it’ll be able to keep up with whatever you’re doing on it!

A great battery is key

One of the worst things is to constantly have to charge your phone or fear that it’ll die on you! So, make sure to think about battery life. Usually the bigger the battery, the longer your phone will last! But nowadays, with faster processing chips and better optimisation across operating systems, it’s not always that easy to know how the battery will truly perform. A good idea is to look into reviews on what people are saying the battery life is actually like in the real world!

Got enough space?

From photos and videos to games and apps, it’s likely you’ve got a lot of stuff on your phone. So it’s important to check whether the phone you want has enough storage! Many phones come in different storage options ranging from 64GB to 1TB or even more! So make sure to pick the right size for your needs. But don’t forget that some phones have a micro SD card slot for expandable storage and you can still use cloud-based storage on most phones!

What’s the camera like?

Phones now have super advanced camera setups with anywhere between 2-4 cameras on the back plus a selfie camera on the front. Many phones have wide-angle and telephoto cameras to give you plenty of options when snapping pictures. The higher end phones like iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy range also have impressive low-light capabilities. So if taking great photos is important to you, consider getting a more expensive phone, as the cheaper options usually don’t have great cameras!

Check out the audio!

Don’t overlook finding a phone with good speakers! The more expensive phones have great front-facing speakers which offer immersive sound quality. On the other hand, budget-friendly phones will have adequate speakers but won’t pack quite the punch. Alongside speakers, make sure to think about whether you need a headphone jack or not. A lot of phones have ditched this connection, which still frustrates a lot of people. So, if you don’t want to use an adapter or get wireless headphones, then you may want to find a phone that still has a headphone jack!

Consider the age…

It can be tempting to buy an older model or refurbished phone to save money. However, this may not be the best idea in the long run. Getting an older phone may mean that it’ll stop getting software or security updates. Also, the older processor inside could mean that the phone won’t be able to keep up with everything you’re doing on it. Sometimes, if you’ve got the money, it’s better to get a phone that’s new now so that it’ll last you into the future!

Pricey or cheap?

Price is one of the biggest factors when deciding which phone to get. Of course, the expensive phones are going to deliver the best experience. However, the budget phone sector has become a hugely competitive space for many companies, with new phones released every year that are getting better and cheaper. So, make sure to have a good look around to find the best phone in your price range. There may be more options than you think!

Extra features – Are they worth it?

With so many phones to choose from, sometimes it’s the extra features that will make you want to pick one over the other. Want to be able to drop your phone on a charging pad and not think about it? Then you’ll want a phone with wireless charging. Need the fastest speeds possible? Then grab a phone that supports 5G. If you love cutting edge technology then you may be interested in foldable phones. Or a phone with a home button may be important for your elderly relative or younger child.

Stick with a trusted brand?

When there’s a seemingly endless amount of phones to choose from, often it can be easiest to go with a brand that you know. With well-known brands like Apple, Samsung and Google offering a variety of phones, it’s sometimes best to go with one of their phones as you know you’ll be getting a quality product. On the other hand, sometimes lesser known companies will offer a phone that’s truly unique, attracting people with specific needs.

At the end of the day, buying a phone will always be a personal choice and it comes down to finding what’s right for you. Do your research and have a good look around the market. Find a phone that suits your life the best and that is where PriceMe will help you compare! Simply search which mobile phone or features you are looking for and then compare them side-by-side. It couldn’t be easier!

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Com Com study reveals big problems with NZ supermarkets

The study reveals a lack of competition between supermarket chains and the need for changes.

Naturally, we depend a lot on our supermarkets. It’s a whooping $22 billion a year industry! So, it’s really important for Kiwis to be able to access good quality groceries at a good quality price.

However, these depend greatly on the competition between supermarkets. The market study undertaken by The Commerce Commission reveals, in New Zealand’s grocery retail market, competition doesn’t appear to be working and some changes need to be implemented to support the Kiwi consumer.

What’s the market study all about?

In November 2020, the Government asked for an independent study to be done by the Commerce Commission. The review looked at the different factors that impact competition in the grocery retail market. The study took place over a year and involved business and consumer surveys, and research into consumer preferences. After the original draft was published, written submission and opinions were reviewed. Now, they have released their final report.

So what did they find out?

The Commerce Commission’s report shows that competition is not working as it should be between supermarkets. It’s that simple!

“We have found that the intensity of competition between the major grocery retailers who dominate the market, Woolworths NZ [Countdown, SuperValue and Fresh Choice] and Foodstuffs [New World, PAK’nSAVE and more], is muted and competitors wanting to enter or expand face significant challenges,” says Anna Rawlings, Commission Chair.

“While there is an increasingly diverse fringe of other competitors in the sector, they are unable to compete effectively with Woolworths NZ and Foodstuffs on price, product range, and store location to offer the convenience of one-stop shopping for the many different kinds of shopping missions that consumers undertake,” says Rawlings.

The study reveals that competition for suppliers is not working well either. Suppliers depend on the two major supermarket chains. Supermarkets realise this and are transferring expenses, risk and uncertainty onto suppliers. Suppliers must agree or they fear not having their products stocked anywhere.

This is reducing innovation and investment by suppliers, resulting in less choice for consumers. When there is less choice, the price of what options are available can rise.

The findings also report the issues facing consumers. The complex pricing strategies and loyalty programmes that the major grocery retailers offer are confusing, resulting in the inability to make a well-informed decision about who to shop with. Also, it was revealed that consumers are not very aware of how their personal data is being used with these loyalty programmes.

The study further showed that grocery prices are high in Aotearoa, compared to international standards. Equally, the profitability of the major supermarkets remained high too. Also, the rate of innovation in the sector is lower than expected and more can be done.

Therefore, the Commerce Commission has made various recommendations on changes that should be implemented to address these issues.

Make it easier for independent supermarkets to set up and grow

“We found that the biggest challenges facing competitors are a lack of suitable sites for store development and difficulties in obtaining competitively priced wholesale supply of a wide range of groceries,” said Rawlings.

To address the issues of finding the right site for independent stores, the Commerce Commission recommends making more land available to supermarkets. This would involve altering planning laws, banning restrictive covenants and exclusivity clauses in leases which are currently stopping grocery stores from being established, and actively reviewing land banking by the major supermarket chains.

To address the challenges faced in getting wholesale supply, the recommendations include regulating the major grocery retailers to fairly review requests by other supply competitors and a requirement for transparency around the criteria of getting supply and the terms and conditions. Also, actively observing the calculated practices of the major supermarket chains, for instance, their use of exclusive trade agreements or ‘best price’ clauses.

If these changes are implemented, Kiwis will be able to shop at more independent supermarkets. This is super important as it means more access to a range of diverse products. It means being able to compare prices and products to find the best groceries for you. Ultimately, it’ll give you more choice to suit your budget!

Working on the relationship between suppliers and retailers

Many suppliers fear their products will be taken off the shelves if they don’t take on pressures they face from the supermarket chains.

To combat this, the Commerce Commission recommends three areas of change. To introduce a required Code of Conduct between suppliers and grocery retailers to strengthen transparency and ban unfair practices. Also, to improve the current protections from established laws that stop unfair terms being used in standard contracts. Finally, to evaluate whether suppliers can enter into collective bargaining.

Help Kiwis make informed choices

As consumers face confusion over pricing and loyalty schemes, the Commerce Commission recommends implementing three changes.

1). Mandate supermarkets’ display consistent formatting of unit pricing for products.

2). Require the major supermarket chains to make sure their pricing practices and promotions are simple to understand.

3). Ensure that major supermarket chains’ terms and conditions for their loyalty programmes are accessible and easy to understand.

These changes should help foster competition within the sector. More competition means more savings and choices for consumers!

How will the Commerce Commission make sure all of this happens?

While the major supermarket chains have announced they will look into their practices outlined by the recommendations, the Commerce Commission has recommended regulatory requirements.

These include creating a dedicated grocery regulator to oversee and monitor the sector, creating a dispute resolution mechanism to resolve any disagreements between suppliers and retailers, and to set a review 3 years after each change is implemented to assess market competitiveness.

The Commerce Commission believes these regulatory requirements will ensure the change needed to stimulate competition in the sector.

The Government must now review and consider the full report and recommendations.

How does this impact Kiwis?

The final findings of this report demonstrate how important competition is for any sector. It shows that the more competition there is, the better it is for customers. It means we can all access a range of different products, saving us money and letting us make an informed choice.

In many ways, it’s all about putting the power into the consumer’s hands and letting us compare our options.

That’s why at PriceMe, we’re all about helping Kiwis compare products! We love to give consumers the gift of knowledge. All you have to do is use our website to compare the products that are out there.

Whether it’s mobile phones, appliances or health and beauty, PriceMe will help you compare! Simply search which products you are looking for and then compare them side-by-side. It couldn’t be easier!

NZ Compare announces the acquisition of PriceMe

The Award Winning, Deloitte Fast 500 business Global Compare Group Limited, known locally as NZ Compare has today announced the acquisition of the international, data-led, e-commerce comparison shopping business, PriceMe.

PriceMe complements Global Compare Group’s stable of brands, consisting of the NZ Compare comparison websites Broadband Compare, Power Compare & Money Compare and their online voucher site FreeVoucherCodes.co.nz.  The acquisition will round out the market leader’s comparison business allowing the company to service their expanding client base and reach even more shoppers at their critical product selection and purchasing decision-making time.​

Commenting on the news, Gavin Male, Global Compare Group CEO said; “Whilst last year’s lockdowns and restrictions were challenging for our business and many others, the move into e-commerce comparison for NZ Compare couldn’t come at a better time.  The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the growth of online shopping in New Zealand and consumers are now shopping online with greater confidence and becoming increasingly savvy in where, and how, they purchase their goods and services.  Local online retailers are performing increasingly well as their expertise and knowledge increases in response to consumer demand. The opportunities are there for Kiwi companies to grab market share and drive greater return on investment and advertising spend by adopting additional, performance based, marketing channels like those offered through PriceMe and NZ Compare.”

PriceMe’s team of ten staff will be joining the NZ Compare team with additional hires planned for early 2022 to drive continued growth. The PriceMe acquisition brings some enviable client relationships into the NZ Compare fold including Harvey Norman, Farmers, PB Tech and The Warehouse. These clients will be in excellent company alongside NZ Compare’s A-list client base of broadband, power and financial service providers.

“PriceMe couldn’t be in safer hands than with NZ Compare,” said Henrik Johansson, co-founder of PriceMe.

“We began to explore a working relationship with NZ Compare back in 2020 and as conversations progressed it became obvious that a full integration of the two businesses was going to deliver the best result for consumers. NZ Compare’s user centric approach really resonates with what we have built with PriceMe over the last 10 years and we’re thrilled to pass the mantle of PriceMe to Gavin, Alex (CTO) and the NZ Compare team and look forward to seeing how the business develops.”

NZ Compare launched in June 2016 with the award-winning broadband comparison site Broadband Compare before expanding into further vertical markets.  Following the acquisition of PriceMe, the enlarged group will maintain over 400 key retailer relationships across power, broadband, retail and finance and is forecast to deliver more than a million shoppers to NZ retailer websites in 2022.

Find out more about NZ Compare here.

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