You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Healthier food a cheap eat in March

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/04/2017

Comfort food cost more last month and it was cheaper to gorge on the likes of apples and carrots, according to the latest food stats.

Food prices fell in March as fruit and vegetables were weighed down by a sharp fall in the prices of apples and carrots.

March's food price index declined a seasonally adjusted 0.4 per cent, and was 1.3 per cent higher than in March 2016, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.

On an unadjusted basis, food prices fell 0.3 per cent on the month.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell a seasonally adjusted 2 per cent while grocery food prices, which account for more than a third of the index, rose 0.2 per cent on the month, Statistics NZ said.

"Apple and carrot prices usually fall at this time of the year as we approach the colder months. One kilo of apples cost $2.88 in March compared with $4.40 in February and $5.04 in January," consumer prices acting manager Nicola Growden said.

The rise in grocery food prices was spurred by higher prices for chocolate and cheese, with cheese prices at their highest level since August 2014.

On the year, grocery food prices increased 2.2 per cent, with higher prices for most dairy products. Fresh milk prices increased 6.5 per cent, the largest annual increase since November 2014. Cheese and butter prices also increased, up 11 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively.

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 2.6 per cent while meat, poultry, and fish fell 1.5 percent mainly due to lower prices for chicken.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon