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Beat Inflation: Take Advantage Of In-season Prices And Add One More Vegetable

Economists’ reaction to the latest Statistics NZ inflation data shows that vegetables are a solution to the high cost of living, rather than a problem.

‘It seems that for the past two years, we’ve heard that vegetable prices are a problem when the reality is that half of New Zealand households spend only between $11.00-$30.00 on fresh fruit and vegetables each week,’ says Vegetables NZ Chair, John Murphy.

‘What we’ve seen over the past month is that vegetables present even better value. As just about everything else continues to go up in price, vegetable prices are coming down.

‘It’s always been the case that if you buy vegetables and cook at home, you will have more in the bank at the end of the week, because takeaways often cost twice as much. This fact is even more evident as takeaways and restaurant meals have continued to rise, as fresh New Zealand vegetables have come down in price.’

According to Statistics NZ, the cost of restaurant meals and takeaways was up 6.9 percent in the year to February 2024, while the cost of fruit and vegetables was down by 9.3 percent.

‘That’s why we are saying that consumers worried about the rising cost of living should take advantage of in-season vegetable prices, and Add One More Vegetable to their home cooked meals,’ says John.

‘There are plenty of cost effective and easy ways to Add One More Vegetable, from spinach in a smoothie to grated carrot or courgette in a meat mince or meatless mince dish or stir fry.

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‘While we don’t like doing the dishes, it makes sense – from an economic as well as health point of view – to take advantage of strong seasonal vegetable supply and cook at home, making sure to Add One More Vegetable where you can.’

Add One More Vegetable is a programme to increase New Zealanders consumption of fresh vegetables. It is run in partnership by and 5+ A Day. It has the support of health professionals and is backed by an Otago University research report, which found millions of dollars could be saved in the health sector if New Zealanders Added One More Vegetable to their diets a day.

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