Apple-addicted Kiwis in withdrawal over shortage
It's a sad and shocking sight in supermarkets across New Zealand.
Everywhere shoppers turn, they see empty shelves where the apples should be, as a supply shortage grips supermarkets across New Zealand.
"NZ apples are in between seasons at the moment and the strong export market last year means they're in short supply until the new season of New Zealand apples," a Countdown spokesperson says.
"Kiwis really embrace fresh seasonal New Zealand produce, so while our stores still have apples available, we try and make as much room as possible for delicious berries and stone-fruit to keep up with high shopper demand," says Foodstuffs head of external relations Antoinette Laird.
The shortage has driven some apple-loving shoppers to dismay.
"I went to the Mt Eden Countdown to do my weekly shop. I normally like to get some kind of fruit," a shopper told Newshub.
"And I was surprised that there was only a small supply of apples being offered. There were only Granny Smith and some floury ones."
A spokesperson for apple supplier Yummy Fruit Company says apple-addicts are out of luck.
"I don't think you'll find anything - we're not picking anything right now," said a Yummy Fruit Company spokesperson.
"Once we pick them, that's it, there's no more. It's the crop we get given, and once people eat them they're gone."
However, apple lovers don't have long to wait.
Yummy says the next crop of Sweetango apples is close to being ready, and will be in store by the end of the month. The apples are a hybrid fruit, developed by the University of Minnesota in 2000.
Countdown says new season Royal Gala New Zealand apples will be available next weekend.
Foodstuff says: "As the stone-fruit and berry season tails off, our customers can look forward to the new season of crisp, fresh New Zealand apples which will be hitting stores in a week or so."
But this may be a long time for Kiwis who need their apple fix.
"I was pretty upset to be honest by the lack of apples," the shopper says. "It was genuinely emotionally distressing."