On Wednesday night, a Countdown shopper took to Reddit while doing their groceries and discovered that a quarter of a cabbage was selling for $3.99.
The Reddit user took a photo of the cabbage and its price tag, adding a caption that read: 'For just $16 you can have a whole cabbage'.
People immediately took to the comments, with some in disbelief by the price.
"It’s taking the piss," one user wrote.
"Maybe for your wedding," another joked.
"I’ve started to buy veggies from a local community garden," a third shared.
However, others came to Countdown's defence, saying a whole cabbage actually costs much less than $16.
'You can get it for $6.99,' one person wrote, sharing a link to how much a whole cabbage costs. They added, 'Halves and quarters of cabbages have never been a good deal.'
And, the person is right, a whole cabbage (at Countdown, at least) does cost $6.99.
"You're paying for someone to cut it up and repackage it. Buy whole if you want better value,' someone else added.
And that really does seem to ring true with halves and quarters, they are almost always just as expensive as the full fruit or veggie.
A Countdown spokesperson told Stuff more time and resources are required to prepare and package them into “more convenient options for customers” on the shelves.
"This is reflected in the pricing,” they said.
Countdown confirmed that the majority of processing for the chain's produce is carried out offsite at the Fresh Distribution centres. However, some of the produce does arrive already processed from suppliers.
Similarly, Emma Wooster, a spokesperson for Foodstuffs (which includes New World, Pak n Save, and Four Square), said that portioned vegetables can help to reduce the amount of potential food waste and ultimately lower costs for customers who do not require a whole vegetable.
If a customer does opt for a cut vegetable, Wooster said the higher cost is likely due to the "extra labour or packaging involved".
So while I can now let out a sigh of relief knowing cabbage doesn't have to cost more than a whole box of choc bar ice blocks, we still have a ways to go before prices really die down in NZ supermarkets.
We've seen food prices rise higher and higher in the past few years. Back in January, food prices notched up their largest annual increase in 32 years - up 11.3 percent on December 2021 and Stats NZ showed that fruit and vegetable have risen by 23 percent.
A lot of Kiwis have already had to change the way they shop - thinking about how much meat they can afford, the effect their food shop has on the environment, and being more cautious of food waste as well.
As recently as this month, supermarket suppliers have revealed Kiwis are getting "screwed over" when it comes to the price of food at Countdown and Foodstuffs.
A lettuce grower even said that they sell one lettuce to a supermarket for $3, but customers would have to pay over $6 for that same lettuce in-store.
So keep those wallets out of harm's way, people - and whatever you do, never buy four quarter-cabbages for the price of $16.