Cheese, chips and chooks: Soaring grocery bill drives 10 per cent annual food price increase

Grocery prices and mortgage rates are expected to continue rising in 2023. Photo / Getty Images

Food prices were 10.3 per cent higher in January 2023 than they were a year earlier, with grocery food the largest contributor to this movement, Stats NZ said today.

“Increasing prices for cheddar cheese, barn or cage-raised eggs, and potato chips were the largest drivers within grocery food,” consumer prices manager James Mitchell said.

The second-largest contributor to the annual movement was restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food.

If there was any good news in the data it was that the annual rate of food price inflation appears to have peaked. It was down from 11.3 per cent in the year to December.


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However, economists have warned that flood damage to crops in the past few weeks may push prices up again or keep them elevated for longer.

Monthly food prices rose 1.7 per cent in January 2023 compared with December 2022. After adjusting for seasonal effects, they were up 0.3 per cent.

  • Grocery food prices increased by 11 per cent
  • Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased by 8.3 per cent
  • Mruit and vegetable prices increased by 16 per cent
  • Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased by 9.2 per cent
  • Non-alcoholic beverage prices increased by 7.1 per cent.


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