Anger and shock as cabbage prices climb as high as $9

  • 10/03/2022

Severe weather impacting crops has led to a climb in cabbage prices due to shortages.

One consumer contacted Newshub voicing their anger after spotting green cabbage at an Auckland supermarket for $8.50 late last week.

Green cabbages being priced at upwards of $6 was no surprise after bad weather events impacting crop plantings late last year, United Fresh president Jerry Prendergast said.

"We're seeing it right across a lot of loose, green vegetables… there's no question that those items are following those same what we call 'loose leaf' vegetable prices," Prendergast said.

"They were all caught up in that weather event in the plantings and then post the plantings, we've had such a dry summer… it hasn't helped with the weather situation that we've had."

Consumers would usually pay about $4.99 for cabbages at this time of year, he said. Newshub has found supermarkets selling green cabbages for as high as $9.

Prendergast didn't expect cabbage prices to rise further but said they may not come back down for a while yet.

"We're expected to hold for at least another month in terms of our growing cycle. As the weather cools and we get a little bit of rain, you'll see the yield increase which will be helpful."

Prendergast said people can still get good value out of cabbages, especially when using them in recipes such as coleslaw.

"They are dearer, there's no question and it's a tough time for people at the moment - it is a tough period in terms of cost of living and the cost of groceries but [cabbages] still represent good value if you can actually get a good coleslaw and you can have three meals out of it."

The price increase comes amid a 5.2 percent cost of living spike for all New Zealand households. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been under pressure this week to admit the three-decade-high consumer prices were a "crisis" after declining to do so on Monday. 

On the whole, fruit and vegetables prices have risen by 15 percent.