Fruit and vegetable prices drop 4 percent in September as supply ramps up - food price index

Fruit and vegetable prices dropped by almost 4 percent in September, providing New Zealanders some welcome respite amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The latest food price index, released by Stats New Zealand on Thursday, found fruit and vegetable prices were down 3.9 percent compared to the month prior, helped in particular by cheaper tomatoes ($13.77 per kilo to $12.05), cucumbers ($19.17 to $13.20) and lettuce ($8.40 to $7.05). 

Food prices across the board fell 0.4 percent in September, bringing the annual rate down to 8 percent - the lowest since July 2022.   

Prices for grocery food, meat, poultry and fish remained unchanged month-on-month, but there was a small bump in the cost of soft drinks (1 percent) and ready-to-eat or takeaway meals (0.3 percent).   

"It was great to see fruit and vegetable prices fall in September, but we saw that coming as supply was heavier than normal on several lines," fruit and veg expert Glenn Forsyth told RNZ's First Up on Friday morning.   

"People are buying more of the promotions and in-season product, which is obviously coming through with the lower food prices. Good supply is continuing into October too, with new season tomatoes available, and broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, white button mushrooms and Aussie beans round up the vegetable supply - all plentiful."   

According to the index, September's fruit and vegetable prices still increased 1.4 percent year-on-year: meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 6.9 percent, grocery food rose by 10.7 percent, non-alcoholic beverages increased 8.3 percent, and the cost of restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food climbed 8.6 percent.  

What NZ-grown produce is currently in season?   


  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Cherimoya
  • Grapefruit
  • Green kiwifruit
  • Mandarins
  • Navel oranges
  • Rhubarb
  • Golden tamarillos.   


  • Artichoke (globe)
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Capsicums
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Swede
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips.