Grocery prices jumped again in March and shot up by 14 per cent in a year.
Stats NZ said grocery food prices rose 2.3 per cent in March, or 2.1 per cent up on February after seasonal adjustment.
In March alone, overall food prices rose 0.8 per cent. After seasonal adjustment, prices rose 0.5 per cent.
But some goods got cheaper in March. Meat, poultry, and fish prices were down 1 per cent on the previous month.
Fruit and vegetables prices were up 0.5 per cent, but down 0.6 per cent after seasonal adjustment.
Seasonal adjustment broadly considers varying seasonal effects, such as increased sales at Christmas and annual cycles in agricultural production.
In year-on-year data, food prices were 12.1 per cent higher last month than in March 2022.
“Increasing prices for barn or cage-raised eggs, potato chips and six-pack yoghurt were the largest drivers within grocery food,” Stats NZ consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.
Grocery food prices increased by 13.7 per cent in the year, the price of fruit and vegetables jumped by 22 per cent, and meat, poultry and fish prices increased by 7.8 per cent.
Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 8.7 per cent, according to Stats NZ.
Non-alcoholic beverage prices were up 8.2 per cent.
The latest data from Stats NZ arrived after months of punishing price increases and numerous problems for some producers including labour shortages, supply chain logjams and the devastating summer floods and cyclones.
Last month, Canstar research found the cost of paying for groceries had surpassed the cost of housing as the biggest financial worry for Kiwis.
Meanwhile, CMC Markets today announced a partnership with food rescue charity KiwiHarvest to support what it called “the hunger and food waste crises”.
CMC said it would provide $10,000 a year to help KiwiHarvest prevent edible food from ending up in landfill, and address surging demand for food support in vulnerable communities.