By 1News

The cost of groceries has risen even further in the past month, according to Statistics New Zealand’s latest food price index figures, as the country continues to grapple with a cost of living crisis.

Grocery food prices rose 0.6 percent in April when compared to March and 0.8 percent after seasonal adjustment.

This was mainly due to increases in the price of cheddar cheese, milk, and eggs.

Other key items, meanwhile, have seen a price drop, with the cost of fruit and vegetables down 3.1 percent compared to March, largely due to falls in the price of broccoli, lettuce, and kiwifruit.

Prices for meat, poultry and fish is down 0.4 percent, while the cost of non-alcoholic drinks has fallen by 0.8 percent.

Overall, monthly food prices have risen by 0.1 percent from March to April though compared to April 2021, there has been a 6.4 percent price increase.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food had the largest monthly increase in over a decade, up 1.4 percent.

Statistics New Zealand says this is mainly due to higher prices for dine-in lunches, hamburgers, and coffee.

"We often see price rises in restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food following an increase in the minimum wage," consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery says.

"Even so, the last time restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food had a monthly rise of this scale was following the increase in GST to 15 percent in October 2010, when there was a 1.9 percent increase."

The minimum wage increased from $20.00 to $21.20 an hour on April 1.

Overall, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food is up 5.3 percent from April 2021 compared with April 2022.

The two major supermarket chains - Countdown and Foodstuffs - have both in recent weeks announced they were freezing or cutting prices on some items.

The moves come amid a cost of living crisis, with inflation at 6.9 percent - its highest rate in over three decades.

Consumer NZ earlier this week launched a petition in a bid to combat high grocery prices. A recent Commerce Commission study found competition in the supermarket sector wasn't working well for consumers.

Top Image: A person shopping at the supermarket. (File photo) Photo: iStock

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