Yum is now a local supplier to Costco NZ in Auckland!
One of the biggest reasons we considered supplying Costco NZ was because I grew up with a Costco in my hometown in California when my family used to shop there for the basics, making for big savings compared with the supermarkets. While they are known for their bulk sizes, it enabled more people to buy in bulk, wholesale style, in a more affordable way. This was also the first time organics were available to us and we could afford to buy them.
In NZ where 1 in 5 people are going to bed hungry every night, we believe Costco can be a part of the solution as they take half (literally) of the margins that the NZ supermarkets do, which for us means we (their suppliers) make a more (sustainable) profit margin, resulting in better pricing for the consumer. This is really important to us as it not only makes Yum more affordable, it makes other quality foods affordable for more as well.
Costco has been paying living wage before living wage was a thing (for over 30 years). They treat their employees well, which is reflected in the happiness of the employees and the eagerness in people wanting to work for them. In my recent visit to my hometown in California, it was an obvious contrast when my mom and I visited a Whole Foods store, with terribly underpaid and unhappy employees, and Costco next door, where they were literally happy and stoked. It was really obvious. My mom commented on how she noticed that Costco has always employed all types of people-- regardless if they were deaf or disabled..an inclusivity we don't see often enough in employers but wish we did.
Costco is also known for supplying local products and supporting local producers in their different locations around the world and for us this meant we could find local products we knew and recognized. I've been to a number of Costco stores around the world and can always find a great selection of locally made products.
Unlike other retailers that sell at a 'discount', Costco's model doesn't sell for less because they are gauging the suppliers' margins (like our supermarkets here), but because they take less margin overall. In NZ, the supermarkets generally make the most margin, winning in profitability however leaving the suppliers who make the products with less (often unsustainable margins), and the consumers with a higher cost.
Lastly, we have found Costco has more sustainability initiatives in place than what we've found with our existing supermarkets in NZ, which is important to us. We have had more than one buyer (and category manager) from the unnamed duopoly here tell us they don't value sustainable packaging which has been pretty frustrating! Where are the solutions that look after the planet and why aren't they important? They have the ability to be a part of the solution and they are choosing not to. With that, our Yum bulk packaging format for Costco, will be in a 800g bulk package (our earth-friendly packaging with zero plastic that are recyclable and compostable), reduces the amount of packaging used of the equivalent amount in 350g packages the supermarkets sell.
This is our reasoning to supply Costco however it's just the beginning. Now we just need people (Aucklanders) to buy it. And, if we are able to get more people buying Yum, which is truly better sustenance for the people and the planet, that means they are buying less crap in plastic packaging.
PS- both flavors they are stocking are vegan and 100% plant-based