In many parts of New Zealand, the price of tomatoes has plunged 70%, falling more than $12 a kilogram in two months. One kilogram of loose tomatoes cost $15.05 in August, rose to $18.32 in September, fell to $7.83 in October, and slipped further this month to $5.71. This data is from a survey of nine Pak’n Save, Countdown, and New World supermarkets.
According to Simon Watson, managing director of tomato producer NZ Hothouse, the fall in price was seasonal: “They’ve dropped considerably because the supply has increased dramatically, and what generally happens come spring and summer is that the supply increases and the price drops.”
Countdown also said the price decline was seasonal. “Tomatoes are a summer vegetable, so with the days getting warmer and longer, and the supply available growing, the price has lowered in the last few weeks,” a supermarket spokesperson said. “Buying seasonally is a great way for Kiwis to get good value at the checkout when it comes to fresh produce.”
Stats NZ’s Food Price Index showed that in October, tomatoes cost $11.92/kg, up from a year earlier when they cost $12.04/kg, and significantly higher than in October 2020 when they cost $8.18/kg.
According to Stats NZ, tomatoes officially peaked at $17.78/kg in September 2022.