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Each year the Department of Human Nutrition completes a Food Cost Survey. This 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 four cities in New Zealand: Dunedin, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch.

Supermarket food cost data is collected by student volunteers in mid February to March.

The purpose is to estimate the minimum cost to feed New Zealanders of different age and gender groups across four cities. This is the minimum amount of money needed to be spent on a week-to-week basis as well as to estimate of the cost to feed a reference household of four. This can provide information on shifts in food costs over time and changes in the affordability of food (if income and other household costs are taken into consideration).

The most recent food cost survey for 2023 is available from the Otago University Research Archive. This document describes how we collected and analysed food costs, as well as our survey results!

Reports from previous years are also available for download.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr Claire Smith.

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