Record-high cauliflower leads veg price rise

Cauliflower prices rose 66% in March. Photo: Getty Images
Cauliflower prices rose 66% in March. Photo: Getty Images
Food prices rose in March this year, with cauliflower reaching record-high prices, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Vegetable prices increased 3.8%, with cauliflower, tomatoes and lettuce leading the way, consumer prices manager Matt Haigh said.

"Cauliflower prices rose 66% to reach their highest level since our series began in 1994. The average price of a 1.5kg head of cauliflower was $8.24," Mr Haigh said.

These prices were 47% higher than this time last year, while tomato and lettuce prices were 14% higher.

Mr Haigh said the increase was due to "a combination of dry weather and high demand".

Non-alcoholic drinks saw a 1.9% price increase, reflecting less discounting on energy drinks and soft drinks. Grocery food prices rose 0.3%, influenced by confectionery (up 8.7%), snacks (up 5.3%) and bread (up 1.6%).

Meat poultry and fish prices fell 0.2%, with lamb prices dropping 5%. Beef prices continue to rise, up 0.7% from last month.

Overall food prices were 0.1% lower than March last year. Lower prices for fresh milk (down 9%), cakes and biscuits (down 7.7%) and yoghurt (down 13%) influenced a 2.7% fall in grocery food prices over the 12-month period.

In that time fruit and vegetable prices increased by 3.6%.

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