Kiwi shoppers put more than 20 million loaves of bread in their shopping trolleys this year, more than any other item grocery item.

Bread, bananas and milk were also among the top selling products at New Zealand's three major supermarket brands and across the board buying habits show Kiwis love a bargain.

Progressive's second annual Countdown Trolley Report found $1 Homebrand bread was the most frequently bought item among the grocery giant's 2.7 million weekly customers, knocking bananas from the top spot which they held in 2014.

Fresh produce made up three of the five top sellers, which were in order Homebrand bread, bananas, Homebrand milk, broccoli and avocados.


Claire Turnbull, who has been a nutritionist for 15 years, said she was pleasantly surprised to see fresh produce taking three of the five top spots, but said cheap bread, and especially white bread, was not the most nutritious food to eat a lot of.

"There are definitely better types of bread, there's no two ways about that. A better bread is a denser, grainier bread that's higher in fibre, but they're much more expensive," she said.

"If we want people to have more of them we need to make them cheaper, really, because at the end of the day a lot of people are driven by price."

She suggested people who wanted to eat filling, healthier food at a low cost could substitute bread with salads and slaws made from cheap vegetables and legumes.

Cabbage, grated carrots, pulses, chickpeas and kidney beans were all cheap fresh ingredients which could be used to make filling, nutritious meals, she said.

A Foodstuffs spokeswoman said research showed shoppers at New World and Pak n' Save "love a bargain" and according to research by Nielsen, 59 per cent of products bought at the supermarket in New Zealand are bought on promotion.

In comparison, just 40 per cent of supermarket items in Australia were bought on special.

Countdown director Pat McEntee also concluded cheap prices were one of the biggest drivers of consumer purchasing habits.


"Since we dropped the price of Homebrand bread to $1 per loaf in July 2014, New Zealanders have bought nearly 24 million loaves," he said.

"Overwhelmingly, after the location of a supermarket, price remains the biggest driver for Kiwi families when deciding where to do their supermarket shopping.

"We are a nation that loves a good deal and actively seeks the best price - particularly with rising rates, rents and other costs of living putting pressure on family budgets."

Now in its second year, the Countdown Trolley Report is a detailed analysis of New Zealand food and grocery trends based on the purchasing behaviour of the supermarket's customers.

Countdown's top five selling grocery items:

• $1 Homebrand bread
• Bananas
• Homebrand Standard 2 litre milk
• Broccoli
• Avocados