Salads are cheaper as warmer weather arrives, with tomato and lettuce prices both down 29 percent in October, Statistics NZ said. Seasonally lower fruit and vegetable prices saw overall food prices fall 0.8 percent in the month. Adjusting for the typical seasonal patterns, prices were flat.
Vegetable prices showed the biggest movement in October, down 8 percent in total. Fruit prices were down 1.8 percent. As well as lower prices for lettuce and tomatoes, courgettes were down 43 percent. This was partly offset by higher carrot prices, up 19 percent.
"Tomatoes continued their price decline for the second consecutive month, to $6.83 per kilo this month. While this is a large fall, tomatoes are still more expensive than they were in October 2015," consumer prices manager Matt Haigh said.
Overall, food prices increased 0.6 percent in the year to October 2016, influenced by higher prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat meals (up 2.0 percent) and fruit and vegetables (up 1.2 percent).