New Zealand food prices had their biggest gain in 12 months in June, reflecting higher seasonal prices for tomatoes and other fresh produce and the biggest recorded jump for chocolate.

The food price index rose 1.4 percent last month, the same increase recorded for June 2011, according to Statistics New Zealand. Prices are down 0.2 percent from the same month last year.

Fruit and vegetables prices rose 9 percent, leading the increase last month, with tomatoes soaring 42 percent, avocados up 37 percent, nectarines gaining 51 percent, broccoli up 54 percent and lettuce gaining 17 percent. Meat, poultry and fish climbed 1.3 percent. Grocery foods and restaurant meals both rose 0.3 percent.

Non-alcoholic beverages were the only group to record a decline in June, dropping 1.5 percent. Chocolate bars and blocks, part of the grocer group, rose 9.3 percent, the biggest increase since the series began in 1999.

Advertisement