Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Fruit and veg costing families a packet

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Fruit and veg costing families a packet

Where and when you shop has a huge impact on the price you pay for fruit and vegetables, a University researcher has found, with produce at the most expensive stores costing up to 50 per cent more.

Dr Emma Dresler-Hawke researched the cost of meeting the recommendation to eat 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables each day, with the results being presented at Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy conference in Dunedin tomorrow (Monday). She surveyed at five supermarkets – New World, Pak’N’Save, 4 Square, Countdown and Woolworths, at four points through a year, once in each of the four seasons. She found that the cheapest time to buy was summer, with costs varying from $1.13 to $1.98 per person, while winter was most expensive at $1.64 to $2.12 per person. Spring prices ranged from $1.40 to $1.97, and autumn from $1.37 to $2.

Dr Dresler-Hawke says that while the pricing appears relatively cheap, a family of two adults and two children could be spending $59.36 on fruit and vegetables during winter.

Debate around the cost of a healthy diet has been controversial, she says, especially issues relating to the socio-economic groups intake of fruit and vegetables. Less wealthy people have tended to consume less fruit and vegetables.

“Some studies have found that higher fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with higher diet costs,” she says. “Low income groups generally have a more restricted food budget so fruit and vegetables may be overlooked in favour of more energy-dense foods.”

A key recommendation from Dr Dresler-Hawke is that GST should not be charged on fruit and vegetables. She also believes that investment in providing free fruit to all schoolchildren would pay off.

“There is also considerable public support for both these measures,” she says. “The International Social Survey Programme role of Government survey in 2006 found that 87.5 per cent supported removal of GST on fruit and vegetables, and 82 per cent supported providing fruit to schoolchildren.”

The costings were based on excluding exotic items including bok choy, guavas and lychees for example, and buying the most common fresh fruit and vegetables. She also excluded potatoes and other root vegetables, because most countries do not include these as servings of vegetables.

In summer, fresh fruit and vegetables were often cheaper than frozen, while in winter, canned tomatoes and beans, and frozen corns and spinach were found to be cheaper.

In summer, fruit prices ranged from 10c per serving for bananas to $1.20 per serving of strawberries. Vegetables ranged from 4c per serving of cabbage to $1.77 per serving of asparagus. In winter, fresh fruit prices ranged from 7c per serving of kiwifruit to $1.33 for strawberries, and vegetables ranged from seven cents per serving of pumpkin to 95c per serving of beans. Only four fruits (plums, strawberries, nectarines and apricots) and four vegetables (asparagus, beans, brussel sprouts and green peppers) cost more than the weighted-average price.

The prices for the 10 different types of canned vegetables ranged from 20c per serving of beetroot to $1.06 per serving for peppers. Frozen vegetable prices ranged from 22c for peas to 93c for spinach. Prices for canned fruits ranged from 19c per serving for pineapple to 77c per serving for blueberries. Three types of frozen fruits ranged from 69c per serving for raspberries to $1.08 for blueberries.

The 5+ a-day campaign has been run since 1994 in New Zealand. It recommends a minimum of two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables, but does not promote including processed – for example tinned or frozen – fruit and vegetables.

“The consumer can meet the 5+ requirement for less if they include selected items of processed food because they are cheaper,” Dr Dresler-Hawke says. “In fact, research has indicated that fresh, frozen and canned [fruit and vegetables] are nutritionally comparable.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Shouldn’t Be Pushed Into Re-opening Our Borders

I believe in yesterday as much as Paul McCartney, but it was bemusing to see the amount of media attention lavished last week on the pandemic-related musings by former government science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman, former Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Air New Zealand chairman Rob Fyfe. Unfortunately, the Gluckman paper had no fresh insights to offer as to how and when New Zealand should re-open to visitors from places where the Covid-19 virus rages on, virtually unchecked. Instead, Gluckman and Co posed a string of rhetorical questions – I counted 23 of them in a three page document – presented as if no-one has ever considered such matters before... More>>

Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>


Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>


Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>


PM: Labour Will Extend Loan Scheme 'lifeline' For Small Business

Labour has announced its plans to extend the Small Business Loan Cashflow Scheme and spend $162 million on a waterway clean-up package. More>>


Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels