Online grocery startup Supie says it has signed up about 55,000 customers, has about 130 staff, is now planning physical stores — and has already mapped out a first location.
Supie is currently operating its online supermarket delivery service in Auckland, as well as parts of the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Rotorua.
The business was founded in 2021 by Sarah Balle, who sees the online-only supermarket as a potential third player going up against the duopoly of Foodstuffs and Countdown.
Supie offers value for consumers every day including on fresh fruit and vegetables, Balle says, by keeping overheads low, getting rid of confusing on-off “sale” pricing, and not investing in competition with New Zealand’s food producers with its own-brand products.
Balle says Supie is cheaper; she does her own regular market comparisons and says her most recent virtual shopping comparison found Supie was on average cheaper by a dollar on most products she compared.
To get free delivery and 2% to 10% cashback on all products purchased, Supie offers a $99 Supie+ annual membership.
Balle says the startup has been growing “like crazy”, with fulfilment staff making up most of Supie employees, and 15% growth week-on-week in orders dispatched.
Her vision for the future would see the main weekly grocery shop order coming from Supie’s website, delivered to your home, with a Supie store close to you for the “top-up shop”. Balle says Supie is working on its physical store strategy, but won’t be replicating the “big box” style of the dominant players. Instead, Supie’s outlets will be smaller, “community-focused”, high-tech and probably unmanned.
Supie will bring a new wave of customer experience to New Zealand, she says. Supie’s planned physical expansion won’t happen this calendar year, and it will need still need to raise capital.