Supermarket bills were back on the rise last month. Food became even more expensive in May as fruit, vegetables and soft drinks all commanded higher prices.
The latest Statistics New Zealand figures show after dropping 0.1 per cent in April, food prices rose 0.3 per cent in May.
Despite this lift, it was cheaper to feed a family than a year ago with May food prices down 0.2 per cent from May 2011.
When you look at what was pushing prices up last month - tomatoes were 58 per cent more expensive while cucumbers cost 70 per cent more. Courgettes rose in price by 50 per cent and capsicums were up 20 per cent. Kiwifruit and mandarins were cheaper but overall the price of fruit and vegetables rose 3.2 per cent.
There was less discounting on sugary, calorie-laden soft drinks and they became 2.5 per cent more expensive, with the whole non-alcoholic beverage category rising 2.2 per cent in price. Ready to eat foods also rose 1.6 per cent.
Reflecting the fall in world commodity prices, dairy products led the goods that were cheaper during the month.
Milk prices pulled back to June 2010 levels with a 5.7 per cent fall in the price of fresh milk, the biggest drop in one month for six years. Cheddar cheese was 15 per cent cheaper than May last year and butter cost a quarter less than a year ago.
Chocolate lovers would have rejoiced that their favourite food was also 4.4 per cent cheaper and meat, poultry and fish fell 2.3 per cent in the year to May.
- © Fairfax NZ News