Very few businesses have thrived, let alone survived, for more than 100 years. But that’s just the case with Hutchinsons, one of New Zealand’s original pioneering importers of selected foods from around the world.
The entrepreneurial Hutchinsons’ family business was established in Auckland in 1906 by George Hutchinson and his three brothers. Initially they opened their own retail stores – Hutchinsons Brothers – focusing on specialty and gourmet food products. They owned stores in key Auckland locations including Ponsonby, Newmarket and Auckland City.
As their reputation as a successful importer grew, the brothers established Hutchinson Wholesale in 1914 focusing on specialty and gourmet food products.
The newly formed company was set up as a wholesaler, distributing premium foods to the Hutchinsons stores, as well as to other major players in the New Zealand grocery trade.
It was said that if anyone in New Zealand asked Hutchinsons for a product, including many European immigrants looking for specialty food products from home, they would source it.
The brothers never looked back and the company grew inexorably, quickly becoming recognised as New Zealand’s pre-eminent importer of fine foods.
Today, Hutchinsons has grown its product portfolio and remains a major player in the New Zealand FMCG industry, partnering with premier food producers from around the world, across a diverse range of food products from cheese to noodles, hot sauce to spreads.
Some of these well-known brands include Castello, Babybel, OXO, The Laughing Cow, Vegemite, Paul Newman’s and Tilda.
Hutchinsons’ own food brands include Trident sauces, noodles and coconut creams and milks; Wheelies biscuits and Hutchinsons speciality cheeses sourced from around the world.
Ron Curteis, Hutchinsons General Manager, believes the secret to Hutchinsons long term success is their professional, reliable and responsive approach and a straight forward, never give up attitude.
Change management is one of Ron Curteis’ strengths with an industry background in marketing and sales for brands such as Charlie’s, Abes Bagels and Gillette to name a few. Curteis has been charged with delivering sustainable growth for Hutchinsons’ brands, brand owners and customers. He is highly motivated to ensure Hutchinsons is the benchmark in its sector and a fantastic place to work.
“In many ways Hutchinsons have been, and still are, innovators in the industry. We’re very proud of the company’s amazing heritage and continue to retain the core principles that have served it so well.
“Hutchinsons have a long track record of performance. There are many reasons why we have such strong relationships with our brand owners and retailers, but in essence I believe it’s mostly because you can trust us to deliver with integrity, passion and without fuss.
“We have recently launched a refreshed logo as well as a new website for greater visibility in the market – Hutchinsons.co.nz. With an up-to-date digital presence, we can convey our story. It’s all fresh and exciting.
We have great brands, a highly effective team, proven systems and a real passion for the business. That’s what’s taking us forward into our next 100 years”, says Curteis.
Hutchinsons offer brand owners a full service solution including national field sales and merchandising, logistics and supply chain management, as well as product development. As successful brand owners themselves, Hutchinsons adopts the same business model with its brand partners.
“Our long-term success can be attributed to the strength of our capabilities in customer service and our relationships with principal partners and retailers. Our logistics and operations competencies are unparalleled, as is our technical expertise.”
Kiwi ingenuity, cleverness and an adventurous spirit have played a big part in Hutchinsons’ success for over 100 years. Put these attributes together with a highly skilled team, and there aren’t too many businesses that can boast such a success story. All without the aid of a digital platform!