Until a few years ago, people depended on well-established and the so-called, ‘mainstream’ supermarkets for their weekly purchases of household items.
The ubiquitous dairies, a majority of which now owned and managed by people of Indian origin, were frequented mainly for a few perishable items such as milk and bread, newspapers and cigarettes.
The advent of Moshims Discount House and its chain of stores, and the establishment of a number of supermarkets by the Indian business community have changed the shopping scene.
There are such supermarkets in almost every residential area in the Greater Auckland region and their number is growing.
They are increasing in size and the range of items stocked and sold.
The latest among them is Moshims Discount House in Botany South.
Located at 46 Ormiston Road (opposite the Lion Brewery), this new supermarket (opened on June 8, 2012) stocks and sells a wide range of products that is used in most homes every day.
Fresh fruits and vegetables would be among the items that will be on demand every day of the week. Owner Arvin Shankar said that he would endeavour to bring these on a daily basis for customer benefit.
“While vegetables from Fiji always find ready customers, there are occasions when these will not be available, either due to floods in Fiji or flight schedules. We have ample space for vegetables, tomato, lemon and other food produce to cater to the growing demand,” he said.
The bulk foods section would also become popular with shoppers. The supermarket retails Indian, Middle Eastern and Pakistani bulk foods and spices.
Among them are all types of dry fruits and nuts, a wide variety of dal, flour, rice, wheat, flour, pickles and other items.
“Many of these are also available in bags of five kilograms or less, depending on the item. Rice and flour for instance are sold in five and ten kilo bags, the cost of which depends on the brand. But customers can be assured of low prices.
“Pickles, chutneys and other food items favoured by people of Indian origin are on stock, suiting the budget of various income groups,” Mr Shankar said.
Halal meat, chicken, Fiji fish, vegetables, fruits, Indian sweets and snacks are among the specialities.
While people from India and the Sub-Continent are assured of the brands that appease them, customers of all ethnicities can be assured of their daily milk, bread and dairy products, which are fresh and perhaps cheaper than other places.
An increasing number of Indians, Pacific Islanders, Maoris, Asians and people of European ethnicity will find the new supermarket the best for their daily or weekly requirements.
These are factors that have encouraged importers of food items to expand their trade and order wider varieties, improving the choice for customers.
These range from beverages, juices, tinned food and fruits, frozen vegetables (often not available in other supermarkets), cosmetics, toothpastes, soaps, hair care products, chapattis, rotis and other bread (both fresh and frozen), to mention a few.
The ready-to-mix and ready-to-eat products have also expanded over the past two years. Moshims Discount House in Botany South has almost all the popular brands, which are among the favourities of many ethnic groups.
Those keen on entertainment can hire DVDs of popular Hindi films, apart from purchasing choice TV serials and music on CDs.
Operating a retail store that is open for all days of the week could be arduous but Mr Shankar, his wife Anjali and their staff enjoy the experience.
“There is a certain pleasure in seeing our customers, many of who are our good friends, at least once a week when they do their shopping. They tell us of their experience with the products they buy, which in turn helps us to improve. Finally, our reward is in their smile, knowing that they have been well served.”