19 Jan 2023

More expensive fruit and vegetables feed into record food prices

4:57 pm on 19 January 2023
Vegetables and fruit on a market stall.

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 23 percent last year. Photo: 123rf

Food prices have risen at their fastest annual rate in 32 years.

Stats NZ said food prices were 11.3 percent higher in December compared with the same month in 2021.

It was the biggest annual increase since April 1990, when food prices rose 11.4 percent.

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 23 percent over the year with kiwifruit, potatoes and tomatoes among those having the highest increases.

Groceries, which were the biggest contributor to the overall increase, rose 11 percent.

"Increasing prices for cheddar cheese, barn or cage-raised eggs, and potato chips were the largest drivers within grocery food," consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.

Meat, fish and poultry also rose 11 percent, while non alcoholic beverages rose 7.3 percent, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods rose 7.8 percent.

Last week there were warnings that the prices of fruit and vegetables could be set to spike because of the damage done to crops by Cyclone Hale.

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