New Zealand food prices rose in June, led by higher costs for takeaway foods and restaurant meals following an increase in the minimum wage.
Statistics New Zealand said food prices rose 0.2 per cent in June from a year earlier. Prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased 3 per cent, led by lunch meals, up 3.8 per cent, along with a wide range of takeaway food options, the statistics agency said.
Read more: New Zealand is a takeaway nation - report
"April's 75 cent increase in the minimum wage, to $16.50 an hour, may have contributed to price increases for these items," Stats NZ prices manager Matthew Haigh said.
"Of every $100 that Kiwi households spend on food, about $26 goes on takeaways and eating out."
Bucking the trend, meat and poultry prices slipped 1.6 per cent, influenced by cheaper prices for chicken which were down 8.5 per cent. Chicken breast prices fell 14 per cent to $12.28 a kilo, the statistics agency said.
Food prices increased 0.5 per cent in June from May, influenced by seasonally higher vegetable prices, which advanced 11 per cent. The rise was led by cucumber up 88 per cent, lettuce up 48 per cent, and capsicum up 32 per cent, Stats NZ said.
Meanwhile, grocery prices fell 0.8 per cent in June, with lower prices for dairy products, including yoghurt which was down 9 per cent; cheese, down 4.2 per cent; and butter, down 6.9 per cent. The average price for a six-pack of 150-gram yoghurt was $4.40 in June, down from $4.83 in May, Stats NZ said.
The food price index accounts for about 19 per cent of the consumers price index, which is the Reserve Bank's mandated inflation target when setting interest rates.