Stats NZ have calculated that food prices saw a 10.3 percent increase in price compared to January of last year.
James Mitchell, the consumer prices manager at Stats NZ, said three grocery items were the main reason for the rise.
“Increasing prices for cheddar cheese, barn or cage-raised eggs, and potato chips were the largest drivers within grocery food,” he said on Stats’ website. Boxed chocolates are also mentioned in the latest report.
Compared to a year ago, fruit and veges have risen by 16%, meat, poultry and fish increased by 9.2%, groceries by 11%, non-alcoholic drinks have seen a 7.1% increase, and restaurant/ready-to-eat meals are 8.3% more expensive, all according to Stats NZ’s latest report.
This means that lower-income families are feeling more of the brunt than higher-income families.
“Lowest-spending households spend proportionally more on grocery food, fruit and vegetables, and meat, poultry and fish, and proportionally less on restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food than the average household,” Mitchell added.
Vegetable prices have seen such a steep increase because of the poor weather the country has experienced over the summer, according to Vegetables NZ Chair John Murphy.
“Some vegetable growers in Pukekohe are reporting losses of up to 30 percent due to the weather event that happened in that area in late January,” Murphy told Newshub.
“Growers - just like all New Zealanders - are facing increasing costs. Repeated bad weather and poor growing conditions only compound the issue because they reduce supply and increase costs. It is too soon to tell how Cyclone Gabrielle will affect vegetable supply, on a national level,” he added.
Prices for other everyday necessities have also increased, with the cost of living haven risen by 8.2 percent since last year.
“Higher prices for housing, food, and transport were the main contributors to the increase across all household groups,” James Mitchell said in a report from earlier this month.