New figures show cost of supermarket’s Basket of 100 continues to fall; 2.5 per cent cheaper than same time two years ago

13 June 2016: Newly released data shows food prices from Countdown’s Basket of 100 continue to drop, with a 0.9 per cent decrease in May 2016 versus the same time last year.

Countdown’s Basket of 100 of the most commonly purchased items includes meat, produce and dairy items where there can be substantial seasonal and commodity price variations, as well as non-perishable grocery items.

Countdown’s May data shows that while produce items have increased due to seasonal factors, overall basket prices are down. The 13.2 per cent increase in produce, due largely to higher market prices on seasonal goods, includes avocados (124.4 per cent), brown onions (31.2 per cent), green grapes (26.3 per cent), bananas (15.9 per cent) and tomatoes (13 per cent).

In spite of particularly high seasonal produce increases, Countdown is bucking the market trend with price decreases across some grocery categories as part of its Price Lockdown programme, launched in October 2013.

The Countdown basket has seen health and beauty/cleaning prices drop by 10.8 per cent, food and beverage prices drop by 3.6 per cent, and delicatessen prices drop by 1.2 per cent.

April’s Food Price Index released by Statistics NZ showed there was a 0.3 per cent increase in food prices nationwide, compared to the previous month as a result of produce prices. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 8.9 per cent from April 2015 to April 2016. The Statistics New Zealand May 2016 Food Price Index is due to be released later this week.

Countdown’s General Manager of Merchandise Chris Fisher says a range of factors have driven higher produce prices in May.

“Across the board, avocados continue to deliver hyperinflation as stock availability dwindles. However the good news is that new season stock is expected to be available in late June, and indications for a large crop mean consumers should expect reduced prices,” says Mr Fisher.

“External factors including export markets and exchange rates are affecting the supply of green grapes, bananas and brown onions. In addition, crop rotation has affected tomatoes, resulting in less product being available for consumers.”

Mr Fisher says Countdown is focused on making groceries more affordable for Kiwis.

“At Countdown we’re committed to driving prices down to deliver Kiwis low prices every day. While there will always be prices that are out of our control due to external factors, overall our Price Lockdown programme continues to deliver significant savings for our customers,” Mr Fisher says. 

| Keywords: Consumer information