New Zealand food prices surge 12.5 percent, Statistics NZ says

Statistics NZ's food price index rose again in April and is now 12.5 percent higher than it was a year ago.

Surging costs in April, the biggest rise in nearly four decades, reflected higher prices for fruit and vegetables, eggs and potato chips, the statistics agency said.

"The 12.5 percent annual increase in April 2023 was the largest since September 1987 which included the introduction of GST in 1986," said Stats NZ consumer prices manager James Mitchell.

Fruit and vegetable prices surged 22.5 percent in April from the same time last year. Stats NZ said that increase was driven by the rising cost of tomatoes, avocados and potatoes.

In other notable increases, grocery prices surged 14 percent year-on-year. Meat, poultry and fish were up 9.5 percent.

While fruit and veg prices were up significantly year-on-year, they dipped 0.5 percent month-on-month - something the industry put down to the ongoing recovery from the weather events earlier this year, warmer temperatures and a boost to supply.

"Consumers should start to see more stable pricing as growers around the country start to get back to normal planting and harvesting schedules," vegetable producers LeaderBrand said in a statement.