Food prices increased by an average of 0.7% in January alone while the year-to -January food price index shows an increase of 2.3%, Statistics New Zealand revealed today (13 February).  Although prices were up for the grocery food, soft drinks, confectionery, fruit and vegetables and ready-to-eat food subgroups, meat, fish and poultry prices fell in the period.

The price of meat, fish and poultry dropped by 0.2% in January. Poultry prices fell 3.7% in the month.

The cost of fruits and vegetables rose by 2.9% throughout January, driven by a 14% rise in the cost of potatoes and a 17.5% rise in the price of citrus fruit. These increases were partially off-set by a 10.6% fall in the cost of tomatoes.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionary prices were up 0.7% thanks to increases in the cost of dairy products (up 1.4%) and bread (up 1.7%). However, the price of potato crisps fell by 5.3%.

For the year to January, food prices in NZ have increased 2.3%, the largest annual increase for more than three years.

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Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices increased 0.7% in January 2006, with the most significant upward contributions coming from higher prices for dairy products (up 1.4%), and bread and bread rolls (up 1.7%). These increases were partly offset by lower prices for potato crisps (down 5.3%).

Fruit and vegetable prices were up 2.9% in January 2006, driven by higher prices for potatoes (up 14.0%) and citrus fruit (up 17.5%). These increases were partly offset by lower prices for tomatoes (down 10.6%).

Meat, fish and poultry prices decreased 0.2% in January 2006, with the most significant downward contribution coming from lower prices for poultry (down 3.7%).

For the year to January 2006, food prices increased 2.3%, which is the largest annual increase since August 2002 (up 3.0%). Prices increased for all subgroups: grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery (up 1.8%); meat, fish and poultry (up 4.3%); restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.5%); and fruit and vegetables (up 1.7%).