11 Oct 2012

Food prices lower, but still too expensive for some

5:11 pm on 11 October 2012

Many food prices including some vegetables and fruit dropped in September, however budgeting services say healthy food is still too expensive for some families.

Food prices fell 0.9% in the month, reflecting lower costs for seasonal fruit and vegetables. The price of capsicums, cucumbers and strawberries contributed the most to the overall fall of 2.2% for September.

However, the price of all types of meat, as well as restaurant and takeaway meals, continued to climb.

For the year to September, food prices decreased 0.3% - the fifth consecutive annual fall in food prices, Statistics New Zealand says.

Dairy products are significantly cheaper than a year ago. Fresh milk prices are down 9.2%, butter is 30% cheaper and cheddar cheese is 15% lower in price.

But the chief executive of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services says the figures are not as good as they appear for struggling families.

Raewyn Fox says people tell her they have to find the cheapest products at supermarkets to feed their children - and often good fruit and vegetables are out of their reach.