Crushing costs: Kiwis shocked at $52.99/kg price of garlic at Countdown

Garlic prices have skyrocketed in Countdown stores across the country, pricing it at over $10 more than their competitors.

On Countdown's website, New Zealand garlic is priced at $52.99/kg - $13 more expensive than Pak n Save at $39.99/kg and $14 more than New World, where it's $38.99.

In a post on Reddit about the price of garlic at Countdown's Mt Eden supermarket, there was incredulity about the cost.

"Can someone please explain to me this insane price for garlic?" the poster wrote.

"Solution, don't ever shop at Countdown," one person responded.

"Every day great value," added another, sarcastically riffing on the supermarket chain's tagline.

When approached by Newshub, Countdown's vegetables merchandise manager Glenn Bewley said an "unseasonably wet January" had caused the price increase.

"Our Canterbury growers are seeing a lower crop yield than usual," he said.

"This and significant ongoing labour shortages have meant we’re seeing higher costs being passed on by our growers, which is what is being reflected in on-shelf pricing."

Bewley said they believe it's important to support their local growers regardless of the weather.

"If retailers like ourselves walked away from a grower in a tough year, we would see their businesses potentially struggle to keep going, and we want to make sure our growers are able to supply us with fresh fruit and vegetables for generations to come."

Both Pak n Save and New World have their loose garlic products of origin listed as coming from New Zealand, China or the US, while Countdown only has New Zealand listed.

"We’re proud to have a long-standing relationship with our local New Zealand garlic growers and we have an agreement to buy their garlic when it’s available, which is why our loose garlic in store is currently only sourced from New Zealand," Bewley told Newshub.

On Thursday, Stats NZ revealed that annual inflation had risen by 6.9 percent in the last year, making it the largest increase in more than 30 years.

Speaking to AM on Thursday morning, the director of Woodhaven Gardens said the cost of produce had been rising over the past five years.

"As cost pressures mount, and the difficulties of doing business increase for vegetable growers, it was going to lead to higher price points for the consumer and now it's playing out."