There's enough flour to go around, people are just buying it too fast, New Zealand supermarkets say.

It has forced the country's major supermarket chains to again plead with the public not to panic-buy, purchasing only what they need.

Social media like Facebook and Twitter were rife lately with Kiwis complaining about a lack of baking goods, especially flour, around the country.

"Someone quietly let me know when they see flour in the supermarket please," one person wrote to numerous Auckland community groups on Facebook yesterday.


"NZ panic buying all the flour like they're about to compete in a lockdown bake-off," a Twitter user wrote on Tuesday last week.

"Okay, we're told that there is plenty of food in NZ and the supermarkets will be restocked. But where is the goddam flour???" pleaded another Twitter user.

Flour had been purchased in much higher volumes than normal, Foodstuffs head of corporate affairs Antoinette Laird told the Herald.

"Baking products, in general, have been snapped up by consumers as they prepared for four weeks of lockdown and some time to create their best and brightest baking sensations," Laird said.

"Our suggestion is customers focus on working through the baking items they have in their cupboards and give the supply chain a bit of a chance to get back up to normal levels."

Foodstuffs brands included New World, Pak'nSave and Four Square.

Elsewhere, at Countdown, it was a similar story with keen bakers raiding stores throughout the country of their flour.

Flour was arriving at stores each day but there could be lags while they got stock in from suppliers and out to stores, a Countdown spokesperson said.


"We've seen a massive increase in demand for a range of items, including flour, and we encourage customers to shop normally and not stock up."

Last week, Nielsen figures revealed toilet paper had far outstripped food as the most sought-after grocery item by Kiwis in recent weeks.

In the three weeks to March 15, sales of toilet paper have increased by 87 per cent compared to the same time last year.

It followed a surge in sales of household cleaners and facial tissues, up 76 per cent and 67 per cent respectively.

Within food retailing, rice experienced the biggest surge in demand, with sales up 69 per cent compared to the same time last year.

It followed sales of canned and dried vegetables, up 62 per cent, canned meals up 58 per cent, milk products up 49 per cent, and canned fish and seafood up 36 per cent.


Meanwhile, earlier today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced supermarkets would be closed as usual on Good Friday.

However, stores would be open on Easter Sunday, Ardern said during her daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 committee's decision on Easter trading was based on the need for staff to rest and for supermarkets to restock.

It was also deemed necessary people had access to essential food, however, the committee wanted to ensure panic-buying did not occur.