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Big Fresh was opened in 1988 by Mark Rusbatch with its first store in Mount Wellington Auckland. Big Fresh offered a wide range of fresh foods, discount groceries in large market-style store. The concept for Big Fresh was based on a Farmers Market with their focus being on their extensive range of fresh foods. Big Fresh had a number of initiatives that made their stores unique such as the Popcorn Club for the children. The stores also offered entertainment for the family with their characters throughout the store such as their singing and dancing fruit and vegetables, mooing cows, singing sausages and giant egg-laying chickens. The entertainment attracted customers, allowing Big Fresh to outpace Woolworths on average store turnover.
The Big Fresh concept became popular throughout New Zealand and the chain expanded throughout the country, with its links to Woolworths New Zealand Supermarket Group and Dairy Farm International Holdings who also owned the Franklins Supermarkets in Australia the brand was launched into the Australian market under the brand Franklins Big Fresh. For a brief period the Big Fresh brand in New Zealand was changed to Franklins at Big Fresh using the same slogan as Franklins in Australia "More in your trolley for less."
On 14 July 2003, the Big Fresh brand ceased to operate within New Zealand. The stores were converted to Countdown or Woolworths, or shut down altogether.
The Big Fresh Chain had a high focus on the Woolworths New Zealand Supermarket Group home brand products, No Frills and First Choice
No Frills was originally used with Franklins Australia as their generic range of products, with their ties to Dairy Farm International Holdings the No Frills product was launched into the Woolworths New Zealand Supermarket Group and had a huge success with the Price Chopper and Big Fresh brands. Originally, the No Frills brand was only used for its peanut butter, honey and potato chips but expanded its range to more than 800 products in packaged groceries and perishables.
First Choice was another generic range of products Woolworths New Zealand Supermarket Group had sold. Launched in 1998, it was developed to provide an alternative to the leading brands and have products with quality equal to or better than the leading brands. The products didn't just have the quality but also had prices that were anywhere between 10-15% cheaper than the national brands.
First Choice had over 600 different products and new products were continually being developed everyday.
- Image reaches end of supermarket shelf life Retrieved February 2013