According to Stats NZ, food prices in New Zealand have risen 7.6% in the last year - the highest annual increase in over a decade. The 7.6% increase in food prices between March 2021 and March 2022 was the largest increase since 2011, when prices rose 7.9% on the previous year, influenced by a GST increase from 12.5% to 15% in October 2010.
"Average prices for vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, and cabbage were notably higher than they were in March 2020 and 2021,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.
Fruit and vegetable prices also rose 1.2% in March from February, influenced by higher prices for cabbage, tomatoes, strawberries, and kumara.
“The average price of cabbage increased 28% in March, from $3.92 to $5.03 per kilogram,” Dewbery said. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark took aim at Foodstuffs and Woolworths for the sharp increase in prices, saying they were making profits at the expense of New Zealanders.
“Rising food prices is a global issue. Omicron, ongoing disruptions to global supply chains and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is putting pressure on prices in every country, but that is exacerbated here by the lack of competition at the checkout," Clark said.