Countdown grocery prices drop 0.8%: Countdown prices 2.5 per cent cheaper than two years ago; more products on Price Lockdown
9 May 2016: Food prices continue on a downward trend with Countdown data showing a decrease of 0.8 per cent in April 2016 versus last year.
The latest decrease continues the trend in falling food prices since the launch of Countdown’s Price Lockdown in October 2013.
Countdown tracks a basket of 100 of the most commonly purchased items in their stores. The basket includes meat, produce and dairy items where there can be substantial seasonal and commodity price variations.
The latest Countdown decrease follows on from an overall decrease in food prices nationwide last month of 0.1%, as released by Statistics New Zealand in the March Food Price Index. The April Food Price Index is due to be released this week.
Countdown’s April data shows overall basket prices are again down, despite higher produce prices for the period. Produce items in the Countdown basket increased by 10.4 per cent, due largely to higher market prices on avocados, grapes and tomatoes.
Countdown’s General Manager of Merchandise Chris Fisher says a range of factors have driven higher produce prices in April.
“Tomatoes were impacted by warmer temperatures earlier in the season which brought the growing season forward. This meant plenty of stock in January and February, but we’re now facing lower stock levels at the season’s tail end.
“Avocados are a biannual crop with a large and small season. This year the small season fell in April, affecting stock levels,” says Mr Fisher. “Avocado lovers will be pleased to hear however that the new season starts mid-June and it’s shaping up to be a bumper crop,” he adds.
Other produce factors include higher imported grape prices as a result of the low Kiwi dollar.
Countdown has helped counter produce price rises by continuing to drop prices on household products this year, including household staples such as toothpaste and toilet tissue. Mr Fisher says Countdown has been focused on driving down the price of groceries to help make food more affordable for Kiwis.
“While some pricing factors will always be out of our control, we continue to make a positive difference to food affordability in New Zealand and deliver savings through great specials and our Price Lockdown programme,” Mr Fisher says.