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Food Cost Survey

Estimated Food Costs

Each year the Department of Human Nutrition (previously Home Science Extension with the School of Home Science) at the University of Otago completes a Food Cost Survey. The Food Cost Survey is based on a basket of food designed to meet dietary needs of men, women, adolescents and children. In recent years food costs have been reported for five cities in New Zealand including Dunedin, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton.

Food cost data is collected by Student Dietitians in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin on the first Monday in March each year. A standard protocol is followed (see Information Package).

Most healthy families or individuals will meet their nutritional needs when spending the amount of money specified for the basic costs. However, spending less than this amount increases the risk of not getting all the necessary nutrients. Many people will not lack energy or nutrients when spending less than this amount on food if they make careful management choices. However, the chances of consuming an inadequate diet increase as the amount spent to purchase food falls below the basic costs.
The foods included in the survey were revised in order to collect the 2014 data. This means the 2014 food costs are not directly comparable to previous years. For further information on how the food costs were calculated download the Information Package.

Weekly costs ($) of a balanced diet in 2014

CentreDiet type
Adolescent Boy7195114
Adolescent Girl597894
10 yr old506679
5 yr old425668
4 yr old334453
1 yr old324351
Adolescent Boy6789107
Adolescent Girl557388
10 yr old476375
5 yr old405464
4 yr old314250
1 yr old314149
Adolescent Boy7296115
Adolescent Girl608095
10 yr old516881
5 yr old445870
4 yr old344655
1 yr old3241251
Adolescent Boy7599119
Adolescent Girl628298
10 yr old537085
5 yr old466173
4 yr old364858
1 yr old324251
Adolescent Boy7093112
Adolescent Girl587793
10 yr old506680
5 yr old435769
4 yr old344554
1 yr old324251

 Download information pack.