Food prices are not rising - in fact healthy food prices are lower now than at the start of 2018. Better weather conditions kept prices of fruit & vegetables considerably lower

Food prices are very stable with the rate of rising prices edging down from already low levels.

During all of 2018, overall food prices rose a tame +1.0%. 

But on a monthly basis they have been falling for five consecutive months, since August. In December they fell -0.2% from November.

These trends were picked up earlier in our own proprietary monitoring of Countdown prices for our specific 'healthy grocery list'. In fact, that stable consistent list reported a -2.8% fall in 2018, and prices have fallen further at the start of 2019.

During the year there was some seasonality at play and in the Statistics NZ data set, prices rose as much as a modest +2.4% in April (year-on-year), but since then the price pressures have fallen away. Similarly in our own monitoring, prices of that healthy food list spiked up +8% in July. But this too has fallen away since.

Avocados and lettuces were much cheaper than the previous summer, but egg prices hit a record high in December 2018, Stats NZ said.

“Overall, getting your five-plus (5+) a day servings of fruit and vegetables was cheaper in 2018,” consumer prices manager Geraldine Duoba said. Fruit prices were -3.8% lower in December 2018 than in December 2017, while vegetable prices were -7.5% lower.

Bad weather in 2017 reduced the supply of many vegetables, pushing up their prices, but growing conditions were mostly more favourable during 2018, boosting supply and lowering prices.

A smaller than usual avocado harvest resulted in record prices in May 2018, when they reached an average price of $5.06 per 200g avocado. By December, avocado prices had fallen to an average $1.72 per avocado, -26% lower than the December 2017 average price of $2.31.

Meat and fish prices bucked the trend, up +3.8% in the year, pushed up by pork and chicken prices.

Eating out was up +2.9% overall. Clearly, eating at home with a focus on fruit and vegetables saves money.

Food prices index

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5 Comments

It's not even expensive to eat healthy. Just look at a cheap packet of Homebrand potato chips from Countdown @ $1.50 per 150 grams. That's $10 per kilo. A 6 pack of Irvines pies are $6.40 kg, loose pies are $10 kg +. Muesli bars are well over $10 kg.

Apples are $4 kg loose, or $4.50 for a 1.5kg pre-pack. Potatoes are $3.49 kg. Carrots $3.00 kg. Talleys frozen mixed vegetables are $3 kg.

People are lazy, that's the real problem.

Kiwibuild is all an elaborate ruse. Consents, zoning rules, ripoff building materials ... who cares! Twyford has been focusing on the important factors first home buyers care about. We should never have doubted him. By dropping the avacado price index the first home buyer has more disposable income remaining after their smashed avo to buy a house.

With Shane Jones planting a billion avacado trees it's only going to get better.

No, Shane Jones is going to plant a few dozen Wilding Pine and let nature do the rest. We will also save $11 million a year in eradication costs.

My gf and I have been enjoying freshly picked sweet corn this week, selling for a dollar each at our local supplier. We switched all our fruit and vegetable purchases from our supermarket to a market gardener and we buy twice as much for the same amount now. It's the way to go.

100% agree. We're the same, we rarely buy produce from the supermarket except for the odd tomato or avocado for convenience sake. It's either grown in our back yard (we built our second raised veggie garden during the holiday break) or from the weekend farmers market.