Yoghurt, steak push food bills up

By Kieran Campbell

A monthly review by Statistics New Zealand, released yesterday, found the price of food rose by 0.2 per cent from March to April this year. Photo / Chris Gorman
A monthly review by Statistics New Zealand, released yesterday, found the price of food rose by 0.2 per cent from March to April this year. Photo / Chris Gorman

Lovers of yoghurt, chocolate and steak would have seen their grocery bills increase last month.

A monthly review by Statistics New Zealand, released yesterday, found the price of food rose by 0.2 per cent from March to April this year, influenced mostly by yoghurt, chocolate and porterhouse and sirloin steaks. In the same period the price of fruit and vegetables rose by only 1 per cent.

Statistics New Zealand's prices manager, Chris Pike, said the cost of foods like yoghurt and chocolate often fluctuated monthly, based on what promotions supermarkets were offering.

"From month to month there can be quite different proportions of products that are discounted [in supermarkets]," Mr Pike said.

Food prices fell by 0.1 per cent in the 12 months to April, with seasonal changes and the drought contributing to a 2 per cent rise in the cost of fruit and vegetables, Mr Pike said.

Avocados experienced the biggest jump in price, followed by potatoes and bananas in the year to April.

Mr Pike said a smaller crop of avocados last year followed a bumper season the year before.

"It's always hard to tell with fruit and vegetable prices what will come through in any month. At certain times of the year you do expect things to drop in price and rise in price," he said.

"Tomato prices rose by about two-thirds to $4.60 a kilo in [the month to] April, which is much the same as April last year, when they were $4.54 a kilo."

Meat, poultry and fish prices dropped in the past year.

Last month there was a drop in the price of sausages and pork roasts, while over the past year the biggest savings have been on dairy products and lamb.

The price of food has previously decreased this year, dropping 0.3 per cent in the month to February and 1.3 per cent in the month to March.

Food prices in April 2013

- APNZ

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