According to Statistics New Zealand’s latest food price index, overall food prices in March were down 1 percent compared to February. In addition, prices were down for all five broad categories: fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and fish, grocery food, restaurant and ready-to-eats, and non-alcoholic beverages.
The most significant decline came from fruit and vegetables, with prices down 7.2 percent since February 2012. In particular, consumers would have experienced significant drops in the price of apples, grapes, pumpkin, and potatoes, with the greatest decline coming from cauliflower, down 33 percent.
There was also a significant decline in the price of meat, with prices down 1.8 percent since February with lamb chops becoming markedly cheaper.
There was also a noticeable decline in the price of chocolate biscuits and energy drinks over March, with prices down 7.8 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.
However, the changes in prices over the past year tell a different story. In particular, overall food prices in March were up 0.2 percent compared to March 2011. Over the past year, food prices for non-alcoholic beverages, restaurant and ready-to-eat food, and grocery food have all increased, while prices for fruit and vegetables and meat have fallen.