Festive food hits Kiwis' wallets

JAZIAL CROSSLEY
Last updated 12:17 17/12/2012

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Festive food is getting more expensive, with a Christmas dinner costing about $11 more for a family of four than it did a decade ago.

According to the latest Statistics New Zealand data, the cost of feeding two adults and two children a typical Kiwi Christmas meal has risen by about $1 a year.

A traditional Christmas dinner with roast chicken or lamb, seasonal vegetables, nibbles and pavlova will set you back about $67.31, up from $54.60 in 2002. The rise was due mostly to the increasing cost of meat, with a whole chicken at $8.91 on average, up from $6.64, while a kilogram of leg of lamb roast was up $3.95 to $14.94.

The November food price index would put the cost of a barbecue with chicken, steak, salad, nibbles and pavlova at $64.74, up from $53.65 10 years ago.

Salted peanuts rose $1.67 in the past 10 years to $3.92 for a 250-gram bag. Sparkling wine had rise in price by $1.26 a bottle to $11.82 while porterhouse steak was about $12.61 for 500g, up from $8.98 in 2002.

While strawberries were $1.27 cheaper, it cost $1.04 more to make a home baked pavlova at $4.35 than it did in 2002 calculated from the weighted average price of eggs, sugar, whipped cream, vinegar and kiwifruit.

Statistics New Zealand prices manager Chris Pike said food prices fluctuated seasonally and annually.

According to its last survey on time use, women were most likely to be cooking Christmas dinner, as they spend just over an hour in the kitchen each day compared to less than half an hour for blokes.

"Most of us will be busy, but the person with the biggest job over the holidays will no doubt be Santa, who will have about 603,730 New Zealand children aged under 10 to visit on Christmas Eve,'' Pike said.

Contact Jazial Crossley
Wellington business reporter
Email: jazial.crossley@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @msbananapeel

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- The Dominion Post

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