Classic Kiwi food costs less

01:58, Aug 13 2012
The Edgeward Supervalue is back up and running.
STOCK UP: Food prices are 1.8 per cent cheaper in the year to July.

Filling up the fridge became 1.8 per cent cheaper in the year to July, with some classic Kiwi dairy and meat products seeing big price drops.

According to the latest data from Statistics New Zealand year-on-year food prices were down, although there was a marginal increase in supermarket bills in the month of July.

New Zealand staples that became luxuries for the average family in recent years are now much more affordable. Lamb and butter fell in price by about a quarter each while cheddar cheese was 15 per cent cheaper and the price of milk was down 9.3 per cent.

However a bad year for kumara harvesting sent prices of the Sunday roast root vegetable favourite skyrocketing by 84 per cent. The 2011 crop was hit by poor weather conditions and prices were the highest since February 2008.

It is cheaper to get your five plus a day than a year ago with fruit and vegetables plunging in price 6.6 per cent.

Grocery food was 1.7 per cent cheaper while protein-rich fish, poultry and meat cost 1.6 per cent less. Non-alcoholic beverages fell in price by 2.1 per cent.

Microwave meals and food from restaurants became more costly, up 1.4 per cent.

During July alone, the price of bread fell 3 per cent and chocolate cost consumers 4.5 per cent less. Seasonal changes saw strawberries get 23 per cent more expensive, capsicums cost a quarter more and lettuces priced 41 per cent higher than in June.

"Strawberry prices usually rise when the first imported stock arrives in winter, as their prices are compared with the prices in April for the end-of-season locally produced stock," acting government statistician Vince Galvin said in a statement.

"Tomato prices fell for the first time in four months, from an average price of $10.17/kg in June to $9.58/kg in July. The average price in July 2011 was $13.25/kg. The nine per cent drop in banana prices, influenced by discounting, was the largest monthly fall since August 2011."

Contact Jazial Crossley
Business reporter
Twitter: @msbananapeel


The Dominion Post