Food costs on the up

food, fruit, vegetablesNew Zealand food prices rose in December 2014, according to the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand.

In the year to December 2014, food prices increased one per cent, following a 0.6 per cent increase in the year to November 2014.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 3.2 per cent in the year to December, influenced by higher prices for beef, up 9.3 per cent.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 3.2 per cent. Higher prices for lettuce, potatoes, and nectarines were partly offset by lower prices for tomatoes, and kumara.

Non-alcoholic beverage prices increased three per cent, influenced by higher prices for soft drinks.

Grocery food prices decreased 1.5 per cent in the year to December, influenced by lower bread prices, which fell 14 per cent.

Supermarkets discounting own-brand bread contributed to lower bread prices while costs for cheese and butter also decreased. These price decreases were partly offset by higher prices for fresh milk and yoghurt.

Month on month

Food prices rose 0.3 per cent for the month, following a 0.5 per cent fall in November, and no overall change in October.

“Higher prices for fruit, yoghurt, and chicken were partly countered by lower prices for some dairy products,” prices manager Chris Pike said.

In December, fruit and vegetable prices rose 1.4 percent, influenced by higher fruit prices, up 4.2 per cent, including kiwifruit, apples, and oranges.

Lower vegetable prices, down 0.8 per cent, were the result of price falls for tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce, but were partly offset by higher prices for potatoes and pumpkin.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 0.9 per cent, with higher prices for chicken, up 2.6 per cent, and processed meat, which grew 1.6 per cent. Chicken prices are now at their highest level, 1.1 per cent higher than their previous peak in December 2013.

Lower prices were seen in beef, which fell by one per cent.

Grocery costs declined 0.7 per cent, impacted by falls in most dairy products. Prices for cheese were down 5.1 per cent; fresh milk, 1.7 per cent; and butter, down 10 per cent), while yogurt saw massive growth at 14 per cent.

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