New Zealand supermarket chain Countdown says it is 'calling it what it is'.

It will now call products like pads, tampons, and menstrual cups what they are, renaming the section "Period and Continence Care" on their online shopping platform.

The current names, "personal care and sanitary products" and "incontinence products" were outdated and the move is a world-first, Countdown claims.

The move is seen as a step to removing the stigma that many women and girls faced around periods and their bodies, Countdown's general manager of corporate affairs, safety and sustainability Kiri Hannifin said.

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"Words like 'personal hygiene' and 'sanitary products' give the impression that periods - which are an entirely natural part of life - are somehow something to hide to yourself, or that they're unhygienic," she said.

"They absolutely aren't, and we can play an important role in helping change that.

Countdown's general manager corporate affairs, safety and sustainability, Kiri Hannifin. Photo / Supplied
Countdown's general manager corporate affairs, safety and sustainability, Kiri Hannifin. Photo / Supplied

"We want to help normalise the language around periods and continence as well as making products like pads, tampons and menstrual cups much easier to find when our customers are shopping online."

The term "continence care" and "continence care products" were given the name to break down taboos around people seeking out those products.

In 2018, Countdown lowered the price of its own brand period products to help address significant levels of period poverty in New Zealand.