Food Prices in New Zealand Surge by 9.6% Annually

Wellington, New Zealand – The latest figures released by Stats NZ reveal a significant surge in food prices in New Zealand, with an annual increase of 9.6% recorded in July 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

“While the overall pace of food inflation has moderated, it’s worth noting that these levels are reminiscent of the increases witnessed in 2008 and 2011,” commented James Mitchell, Consumer Prices Manager at Stats NZ.

In July 2023, the soaring annual increase was attributed to price hikes across all the major food categories tracked by Stats NZ. Here’s a breakdown of the year-on-year price changes for each category:

  • Grocery food prices witnessed an 11.9% surge.
  • Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices experienced an 8.9% increase.
  • Meat, poultry, and fish prices rose by 9.3%.
  • Fruit and vegetable prices registered a 6.2% uptick.
  • Non-alcoholic beverage prices saw a 9.1% climb.

Notably, the driving factors within the grocery food category were increasing prices for fresh eggs, potato crisps, and six-pack yoghurt.

The second-largest contributor to this annual movement was restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, with the hike attributed to dine-in lunch/brunch, takeaway meals, and dine-in evening meals.

Monthly Fluctuations: On a monthly basis, food prices experienced a decline of 0.5% in July 2023 compared to June 2023. When adjusting for seasonal effects, this decrease was even steeper at 1.1%.

The decline in prices for fruits and vegetables, including items like tomatoes, avocadoes, and oranges, played a significant role in this monthly fall. Despite the monthly drop of 4.1% in the price of fruits and vegetables, they remain 6.2% more expensive compared to the same time last year.

As the cost of living evolves, consumers in New Zealand are navigating an environment where food affordability and budget management become increasingly crucial.

For more detailed insights and data, please refer to the official statistical bulletin released by Stats NZ on this date.