Food on table

Love Your Local Campaign

New Zealand's hospitality industry faced extreme challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to lockdowns, social distancing rules and staff shortages as businesses began to open back up. Stuff's print and digital platforms brought this issue to a national audience, encouraging Kiwis to support local and to provide businesses with brand awareness opportunities.

High awareness especially for small or remote New Zealand cafes, restaurants and bars

Generating over 800 public submissions with referrals for more than 600 businesses

Campaign Objective

Encourage Kiwis to support local hospitality



Channels Used

Editorial and digital (news articles and sponsored content)

Our feature in Love Your Local had a huge impact for us… A lot of people didn’t realize we were here.”

Yael Shochat (Ima Cuisine owner)


New Zealand hospitality suffered greatly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While Kiwis rallied behind local tourism, and retail pivoted to online shopping, social distancing, staff shortages and lockdowns hit hard for cafes, bars and restaurants. Even as vaccinations rose and restrictions eased, New Zealanders were still wary about going out to eat and drink. Many customers experienced personal financial struggles which contributed to a shift to more conscious purchasing decisions and spending less. Bars, restaurants and cafes of all sizes struggled to stay in business - more than 300 Auckland businesses closed in the three month August lockdown alone.*


The Love Your Local editorial campaign was built on a social movement to get Kiwis to reimagine their communities post the pandemic. This campaign inspired readers to submit referrals to promote their favourite local hospitality hangout. 

Boosted by hospitality associations, foodie groups including 25,000 member-strong Lazy Susan, and high profile restaurateurs Stuff launched Love Your Local in March 2022. Primarily an editorial campaign, journalists nationwide wrote stories about hospitality venues to help  raise awareness of the impact Covid was having on the industry. The initiative drove personal endorsement by celebrity chefs such as Al Brown, Peter Gordon, Ben Bayly, Nic Watt and Chand Saharwat on their respective social channels.

Stuff’s ability to reach a broad national and targeted regional audience across a variety of channels ultimately lead to its success.


During the seven week campaign there were more than 800 Love Your Local submissions, recommending more than 600 businesses. Many of the smaller and more remote  businesses noticed significant outcomes from the campaign, including an increase in customer traffic and brand awareness. 

The campaign generated significant results particularly through editorial promotion and social platforms such as Tik Tok, Twitter and YouTube. Over the seven weeks, 33 articles were published across Stuff, generating more than 705,000 page views from 530,000 unique visitors. Additionally, total social impressions were 71,646, total social engagement (the number of likes, comments, shares) was 413 and total video views reached 255,138.

“This Mother’s Day we had our biggest day in ten years. Your campaign certainly worked for us,” Purple Weka Cafe and Bar owner Stewart McDougall said. 

“This Mother’s Day we had our biggest day in 10 years. Your campaign certainly worked for us”

Purple Weka Cafe and Bar owner Stewart McDougall says.

Next Steps

Every venue nominated by the Stuff audience received a Love Your Local 2022 recognition window decal which are now being proudly displayed all over New Zealand. Plans are also underway for Love Your Local readers’ hospitality awards, using Stuff’s national reach and audience of 2.4 million** to vote on their favourite venues including local roadside stalls, bakeries, cafes, restaurants and bars.

The searchable database of submissions from readers - including quotes about why they love their local - lives on and will be updated and grow through the awards voting system. In future, commercial partners may be able to sponsor select sections of the Love Your Local awards and an external agency has already approached Stuff to create a New Zealand food trail interactive, pointing readers to tried and trusted local favourites as they travel.


** Nielsen CMI Q3 21- Q2 22 July 22 Fused - STUFF

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