Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Annual NZ food prices were 4.5 percent higher in December 2021 than they a year ago and they are now the highest they have been in a decade.
This is the biggest annual increase since September 2011, when annual food prices increased 4.7 percent.
The main contributor to this increase was higher prices for tomatoes which nearly doubled in price between December 2020 and December 2021, increasing 99 percent.
The weighted average price of 1kg of tomatoes increased from $3.33 in December 2020 to $6.61 in December 2021. Higher prices for tomatoes were partly offset by cheaper prices for kiwifruit, kumara, and avocados.
Grocery foods had the biggest impact on the annual food prices movement, increasing 4.5 percent. Yoghurt, standard two-litre milk, and fresh eggs were the main contributors.
Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 5.1 percent. Households spend more on grocery food than on restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food. Therefore, price changes for grocery food have more impact on the index.
Food prices rose 0.6 percent in December 2021 compared with November 2021.
There were higher prices for fruit and vegetables, up 2.6 percent; restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food, up 0.8 percent; grocery food, up 0.6 percent; These were partly offset by lower prices for non-alcoholic beverages, down 1.2 percent; meat, poultry, and fish, down 0.6 percent.
Within fruit and vegetables, higher prices for potatoes, onions, and apples were partly offset by lower prices for nectarines, courgettes, and cucumbers.