Countdown’s August grocery prices drop 0.6%

Dairy products drop; groceries are now 1.7 per cent cheaper than two years ago

12 September 2016: Prices in Countdown’s basket of 100 dropped for the thirteenth consecutive month in August. The basket was 0.6 per cent lower in August 2016 than this time last year, and 1.7 per cent lower than the same period two years ago.

Each month Countdown tracks the most commonly purchased items including meat, produce and dairy items.

Countdown’s General Manager of Merchandise Chris Fisher says while global dairy prices appear to be heading upwards in the coming months, New Zealand consumers have benefited from the lower milk price during August with significantly cheaper dairy products than this time two years ago. Major decreases include a 13.7 per cent drop in yoghurt, a 10.3 per cent drop in butter, a 7.7 per cent drop in cheese and a 5.9 per cent drop in milk.

“Our competitive pricing and the global dairy price decrease mean our customers have been taking advantage of the lower prices and are buying more dairy products at the moment,” says Mr Fisher.

Countdown’s Price Lockdown continues to deliver lower prices. Products in the Price Down programme are 10 per cent cheaper than 2014.

Significant price decreases in this month’s figures include a 6 per cent drop in deli products, a 5.7 per cent drop in health and beauty items, and a 2.8 per cent drop across other food and beverage items.

Bad weather and seasonal factors in July and August has led to supply shortages in fresh produce, with an increase of 12.6 per cent versus August last year. Broccoli prices were up by 12.2 per cent and capsicums were up 5 per cent.

A ship transporting bananas to New Zealand broke down off the coast of Ecuador in late August, causing an increase in price during the shortage.

The Statistics New Zealand August 2016 Food Price Index is due to be released tomorrow.

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