C a s e S t u d y

Case Study



Countdown Free Fruit for Kids

It’s a familiar scene, busy parents attempting to do the grocery shopping with bored, hungry, children in tow. As New Zealand’s largest supermarket brand, Countdown recognised the struggles of parents’ grocery shopping with children, and introduced a simple, yet unique initiative, to make shopping with little ones easier. 

A sign-posted basket of free fruit for children to enjoy while shopping was placed in a single Auckland Countdown store. On the first day of the initiative, a customer posted a photograph of the fruit basket to social media. Within 24 hours the post went viral, and consumers called for the initiative to be rolled-out nationwide.

As Countdown’s public relations agency, Porter Novelli worked alongside the Countdown teams to quickly elevate Free Fruit for Kids from a lone basket of fruit in one Countdown supermarket, to a nationwide initiative across Countdown’s 184 stores, securing significant media coverage in the process.

Key successes of the Free Fruit for Kids campaign include:

  • Positive coverage across New Zealand’s best known print, online, and television media
  • Positive coverage across international media, including a Buzzfeed feature that reached 200 million users
  • Praise from key online influencers, including prominent New Zealand health organisations
  • Praise from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who shared a photograph of the initiative with 4 million Instagram followers that was liked more than 80,000 times.

Free Fruit for Kids is an ongoing success, with Countdown continuing to receive positive feedback from customers on the company’s Facebook page.  Around 50,000 pieces of fruit are given away at Countdown supermarkets each week, encouraging children to eat healthy snacks, and making grocery shopping a little easier for parents.


Public Relations Institute of New Zealand Awards 2016: Marketing Communications – Public Relations, Highly Commended

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