Noodles, pasta sauce and capsicums are burning a big hole in shoppers' pockets, and annual food price increases remain at 13-year high.
The data from Stats NZ this morning was expected to show prices lifted in September, for a rise of about 8 per cent annually.
The annual leap was actually 8.3 per cent in the year to September. And last month alone, prices were up 0.4 per cent.
Stats NZ said the annual increase was due to rises across all the broad food categories measured.
Compared with September 2021, grocery food prices increased by 7.7 per cent and fruit and vegetable prices were up 16 per cent.
Meat, poultry and fish prices increased by 6.7 per cent.
"Increasing prices for yoghurt, two-minute noodles, and tomato-based pasta sauce were the largest drivers within grocery food," said consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery.
The second-biggest contributor to the annual movement was fruit and vegetables.
Items in that group driving price increases were capsicums, tomatoes and broccoli.
Economists ahead of today's release were looking for signs the pace of rising prices has eased.
Last month, annual food prices shot up faster than at any time in 13 years.
The 8.3 per cent leap for the year to August 22, compared with August 2021, was the biggest annual increase since the Global Financial Crisis in July 2009.
The surge in prices has been described as a perfect storm by economists.
A combination of pandemic supply issues, the war in Ukraine, labour shortages and tough local growing conditions have combined to put the squeeze on consumers.
Last month Indonesia - one of the world's largest producers of instant noodles - warned the price could triple as it struggled to access wheat supplies due to the war in Ukraine.
Volatile fuel prices influenced shipping and other transportation costs, and freak weather in places damaged some fruit and vegetable crops.
Last November, heavy rain saturated cauliflower crops and affected new plantings.
In July this year, wild weather in Queensland was blamed for causing mayhem with asparagus and leek prices after some crops were obliterated.
Some of the food price stats are prone to seasonality, because some crops are only produced in certain seasons.
September data for rental prices is also due to be revealed today, ahead of next week's full consumer price index release for the September quarter.
New Zealand's Consumers Price Index inflation rate was 7.3 per cent for the year to June 30.