A 1.5 per cent fall in food prices in October compared to September, took the annual rise to just 2 per cent, the smallest annual increase since May 2006.
Publishing the food price index for October today, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said that for the first time this decade all five food subgroups it monitored recorded monthly falls.
Fruit and vegetables fell 4.6 per cent, the meat, poultry and fish subgroup was down 3.2 per cent, grocery food dropped 0.4 per cent, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food slipped 0.3 per cent, and non-alcoholic beverages eased down 0.4 per cent.
Lettuce prices fell 47 per cent in October, fresh chicken was down 8.7 per cent, and lamb fell 11.8 per cent, while broccoli was up 37.9 per cent, carrots lifted 19.2 per cent, and cabbage gained 53.1 per cent.
The 1.5 per cent fall in food prices last month was the largest fall in seasonally unadjusted food prices since February 2006, and followed falls of 0.7 per cent in September and 0.9 per cent in August.
The 2 per cent annual rise, followed rises of 3.3 per cent and 4.6 per cent in the years to September and August.
Grocery food prices rose 2.7 per cent for the October year, with non-alcoholic beverages up 9.8 per cent, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food up 3 per cent, and meat, poultry and fish up 1.2 per cent. The fruit and vegetable subgroup recorded an annual fall of 6 per cent.
Soft drinks were up 10.5 per cent for the year, and bread rose 7.2 per cent, while potatoes dropped 29.5 per cent, cheddar cheese fell 23.1 per cent and lettuce was down 32.4 per cent.