“Higher food prices in May were influenced by seasonally higher prices for fresh vegetables,” prices manager, Chris Pike, said.
In May, vegetable prices rose 5.7 per cent, while fruit prices fell 6.4 per cent. Vegetable prices were influenced by seasonally higher prices for tomatoes, cucumber, and lettuce. The fall in the price of fruit was influenced by lower prices for bananas, kiwifruit and mandarins.
Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose one per cent influenced by higher prices for processed meat and chicken. These price rises were partly offset by lower prices for beef, down 3.9 per cent from their highest level last month.
Prices for non-alcoholic beverages rose 0.9 per cent, while restaurant meals and ready to eat food prices rose 0.3 per cent.
Grocery food prices rose 0.1 per cent in May, with higher prices for cheese (up 7.1 per cent) and butter (up 11 per cent) offset by lower fresh milk prices (down 4.6 per cent).
Annual food prices were up 0.8 per cent.
In the year to May 2015, food prices increased 0.8 per cent, following a one per cent increase in the year to April 2015.
Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 4.6 per cent in the year, reflecting higher prices for chicken (up 8.9 per cent) and beef (up 7.2 per cent).
Restaurant meals and ready to eat food prices increased 1.8 per cent, while non-alcoholic beverages increased 2.4 per cent.
Grocery food prices decreased 1.3 per cent in the year to May, influenced by lower prices for bread, fresh milk, cheese and butter. These were partly offset by increases in chocolate and confectionery.
Fruit and vegetable prices decreased 1.1 per cent in the year, reflecting lower prices for avocados, tomatoes, apples and lettuce. These were partly offset by increases for bananas and strawberries.
The food price index (FPI) measures the rate of food price changes and food services purchased by households. Statistics NZ visits shops across NZ to collect prices for the FPI and check package sizes.