Food prices rose 1.3 percent in January from December because of seasonally higher fruit and vegetable prices.
Statistics New Zealand figures show fruit and vegetable prices rose 8.3 percent in the month.
Apple prices averaging a record 4-dollars-77 a kilo, up more than 13 percent on a year ago. New season apples arrived later than usual this January and in smaller volumes due to adverse weather in spring.
The increase was partly offset by lower prices for chicken, down nearly 3 percent, energy drinks and yoghurt.
In the year ended January, food prices were up 1.2 percent.