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Fresh vegetable retailing in New Zealand : an economic survey

Kitson, G. W.
Fields of Research
A good deal of interest has been shown in the marketing of vegetables over recent years particularly with reference to marketing margins. This survey is a study of such margins for different groups of retailers for two widely differing main centres in New Zealand. Two smaller North Island centres (Taumaranui and Taihape) were also surveyed but results for these centres were of less significance on national terms. Not only were the margins themselves under study but also factors which were considered likely to affect them. Factors relevant to a description of general retailing practices, but not clearly associated with retail margins were also studied and are described. A questionnaire was designed to gather information on the following broad topics: Frequency of getting supplies of vegetables, Range of vegetables stocked, Markup procedure and margins, Costs involved in retailing vegetables, Specialling policies for vegetables. Competition between retailers, Display and presentation of vegetables. Six vegetables were studied in detail. These were carrots, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce and onions. These were selected to get a range of perishability of products. The questionnaire was designed and tested with a number of people concerned with the marketing of vegetables in Christchurch whose co-operation is greatly appreciated. Gratitude must also be expressed to retailers visited in the survey who uncomplainingly gave up time to answer questions contained in a lengthy questionnaire. After a series of tests to the questionnaire, and subsequent amendments before and after the Christchurch survey in August, interviews were made in Auckland, Taumaranui and Taihape during October and November 1967.