Price of burgers, coffee increase as food prices rise again

Source: 1News

The cost of groceries has risen even further in the past month, according to Statistics New Zealand’s latest food price index figures, as the country continues to grapple with a cost of living crisis.

The Commerce Commission's released its long-awaited review into the industry.

Grocery food prices rose 0.6% in April when compared to March and 0.8% after seasonal adjustment.

This was mainly due to increases in the price of cheddar cheese, milk, and eggs.

Other key items, meanwhile, have seen a price drop, with the cost of fruit and vegetables down 3.1% compared to March, largely due to falls in the price of broccoli, lettuce, and kiwifruit.

Prices for meat, poultry and fish is down 0.4%, while the cost of non-alcoholic drinks has fallen by 0.8%.

Overall, monthly food prices have risen by 0.1% from March to April though compared to April 2021, there has been a 6.4% price increase.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food had the largest monthly increase in over a decade, up 1.4 percent.

Statistics New Zealand says this is mainly due to higher prices for dine-in lunches, hamburgers, and coffee.

"We often see price rises in restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food following an increase in the minimum wage," consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery says.

"Even so, the last time restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food had a monthly rise of this scale was following the increase in GST to 15% in October 2010, when there was a 1.9% increase."

The minimum wage increased from $20.00 to $21.20 an hour on April 1.

Overall, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food is up 5.3% from April 2021 compared with April 2022.

The two major supermarket chains - Countdown and Foodstuffs - have both in recent weeks announced they were freezing or cutting prices on some items.

The moves come amid a cost of living crisis, with inflation at 6.9% - its highest rate in over three decades.

Consumer NZ earlier this week launched a petition in a bid to combat high grocery prices. A recent Commerce Commission study found competition in the supermarket sector wasn't working well for consumers.