Take a look inside Foodstuffs' new storehouse, the size of eight rugby fields

Laura James
Source: 1News

A brand new building in South Auckland's become the Amazon warehouse of the food world.

It's Foodstuffs North Island's supply centre, stocking groceries for over 150 of its North Island stores.

The distribution centre's thought to be the largest in New Zealand.

It's 7.7 hectares, equivalent to the size of eight rugby fields, and standing shoulder to shoulder, more than a third of Auckland's population would be able to fit inside.

The supermarket giant's spent $70 million on the fit out alone, and it's ready in time for the Easter shopping madness.

"It's big. And we love that," said Foodstuffs North Island Chief Executive Chris Quin.

"Last year taught us the demand on a supply chain can change very very quickly, we had two jobs, one was keep people safe, the other was keep stock on shelves, this building's all about that."

He admits the company was stretched in last year's lockdown.

"There was stuff in the corridors, stuff sitting outside for periods of time, this [distribution centre] gives us the ability to be on top of it."

There's space to hold up to 80 thousand pallets in the warehouse, and while it's not yet full, that's the goal.

Quin acknowledges there are ongoing supply chain issues globally.

"We're working hard with our global supply partners to try give them the room to store more in NZ, so we can stay on top of this problem. ... There are a few stresses and gaps right now," he said.

"We are working very hard on our own private label products and the availability of those is in pretty good shape."

The new Foodstuffs home is not just huge, but it's also been designed with sustainability in mind.

"The big features here are the way water is collected from the roof ... and the thing we're really proud of is the 2915 solar panels ... to use that to generate electricity to run the site was one of the smart things we were able to do.

"One of the other design features is that every piece of equipment in here is electric."

This long weekend, they're running non-stop as Easter is the second busiest trading period of the year for Foodstuffs.

Quin says with so much more stock available, as well as the way the new warehouse is run, it "enables the stores to go, 'Hey we had a bigger day than we expected, how can you help?'"

Even kindling has been made available on the picking floor ahead.

"I'm not forecasting that Easter's not gonna be good", Quin said.

"But at least we'll have the product in stock."