Food prices fell 0.6 per cent in October, led by drops in fruit and vegetable prices.
Statistics New Zealand prices manager Chris Pike said this reflected seasonally lower prices for vegetables but was countered by higher grocery food prices.
"Tomato, lettuce, capsicum and broccoli prices all fell, as they usually do at this time of year," he said.
Fruit and vegetable prices were down 5.5 per cent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food were down 0.5 per cent. Tomato prices fell 32 per cent, lettuces by 27 per cent and capsicums by 26 per cent.
However, carrot prices rose 29 per cent, pumpkins increased 40 per cent and potatoes were up 11 per cent.
Pike said grocery food prices rose 0.5 per cent last month and meat, poultry and fish prices rose 0.1 per cent.
Food prices that increased included lamb chops and plain biscuits, and decreases included tuna, bacon and chocolate biscuits.
Countdown Eastgate shopper Glen Nuttall said price dictated which brands he bought, especially when it came to nappies.
Upper Riccarton Countdown shopper Julie Curtis bought cheap brands. "I won't buy things that are too expensive. I buy things on special." She said her children did not eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, so those they did eat, such as bananas, she would buy regardless of the price.
For the year till last month, food prices increased 0.3 per cent, following five consecutive annual decreases.
- The Press
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