The cost of grocery shopping fell by 3 per cent last year as the price of food experienced the largest annual fall since July 2012.

Food prices dropped 1.3 per cent in the year to December 2015 according to Statistics New Zealand released today.

Lower prices for some dairy products, including fresh milk prices dropping 14 per cent, and breads and cereals costing less were behind the drop in grocery foods.

During 2015 the cost of meat, poultry, and fish decreased 3.8 per cent and chicken prices were at their lowest level since January 2008.


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"Chicken prices have fallen during the year, with the price for a kilo of chicken breast averaging $14.62 in December, compared with $16.60 a year ago," consumer prices manager Matt Haigh said.

Fruit and vegetable prices increased 2.4 per cent, with higher prices for avocados and bananas.

"Prices rose for apples, avocados, and bananas in December," Haigh said.

"Fruit prices were up 5.1 per cent, although this rise was only 1.5 per cent after adjusting for seasonal effects."

Non-alcoholic beverage prices decreased 2.3 per cent, while restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 2 per cent in the year to December 2015.

See the Statistics New Zealand release here: