Food Ticker reports:
In an in-store demonstrations update on 20 May seen by the Ticker, supermarket chain Countdown advised industry stakeholders, including sales agencies with demonstration divisions, that it has had to pull the plug on in-store activations such as tastings.
The email from Countdown’s demonstration team cited feedback from WorkSafe as the reason for ending the promotional activity, which had returned under the Covid-19 Protection Framework’s orange traffic light setting.
“Back in April, a communication to all demonstration companies and suppliers was sent advising, when New Zealand shifted to the new traffic light system that Countdown would accept demonstrations in both the orange and green traffic light systems,” Countdown said in the email.
“Over the past couple of months, we have all enjoyed the theatre that demonstrations have provided in our stores for our customers, and we thank you for that.
“Unfortunately, WorkSafe has been in contact with our business and they have asked us to cease all food and drink demonstrations happening in our stores. This means that these demonstrations will cease from Monday 23 May.
“The reason they provided was – it has been legislated by the government that all supermarket customers, staff and external parties, are to wear marks when working/shopping within the supermarket to help prevent transmission of Covid-19.
“It has been brought to their attention that food and drink demonstrations are now operating in Countdown supermarkets and have advised that it is inappropriate to ask customers to remove their mask to sample food and drink within the supermarket environment.”
This is just ridiculous. You can go into a crowded bar and don’t need to wear a mask, but can’t take your mask off for 10 seconds in a supermarket to sample some food.