Data reveals the largest food price increases in 13 years

by | Sep 15, 2022 | News

Food prices were 8.3.% higher in August 2022 compared with August 2021, Stats NZ has announced this week, with food prices rising at their fastest annual rate in 13 years. Fruit and veggies were the largest driver of rising food prices, at 15%, the statistics show.

In August 2022, the annual increase was due to rises across all the broad food categories measured. Compared with August 2021:

  • grocery food prices increased by 8.7 percent
  • fruit and vegetable prices increased by 15 percent
  • restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 6.5 percent
  • meat, poultry, and fish prices increased by 7.6 percent
  • non-alcoholic beverage prices increased by 4.1 percent.

Grocery food was the largest contributor to the movement.

“Increasing prices for eggs, yoghurt, and cheddar cheese were the largest drivers within grocery food,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.

Why the veggie price crunch?

Extreme weather conditions destroyed crops and pushed prices up, plus inflation is adding to harvesting costs, RNZ reported this week. In happier news, Jerry Prendergast from United Fresh says things might improve soon. “If the weather gods look after us, we could be seeing some quite good increases of supply of vegetables and we can expect to see a continuation of good value fruit and vegetables as we head into late spring and into the summer months”, he says.

For their part, Foodstuffs says their co-operatives have held food price increases below food price inflation and below supplier increases for the fourth month in a row. On the same products measured by FPI, the increase to Foodstuffs customers was 6.1% – meaning the co-operatives’ members held prices in their stores at 2.2% less than inflation in August.

Foodstuffs NZ Managing Director Chris Quin says record inflation is hitting New Zealanders hard, so every dollar saved at the checkout counts. “We know from our customers that the rising cost of living and being able to afford their weekly shop is still their number one concern”, he says.

Why one café is now charging $8.50 for a flat white

When Steve Barrett hiked coffee prices at his Auckland cafés a few weeks ago, he knew he’d get flak – but he says he had no choice. Somebody had to stand up for the industry, Newsroom reported this week.


Hero photo by Marisol Benitez on Unsplash

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