Meat more and more on the menu at home as prices rise


Shoppers say meat is being increasingly removed from the menu in favor of cheaper alternatives as inflation hits.

A 2011 newspaper in the RNZ newsroom showed a Countdown ad, with ground beef at $6.80 per 1kg. Countdown to 2022, 1 kg of ground beef costs $14.50. Double what it was just over 10 years ago.

“We have to recognize that the food basket at all levels is becoming a challenge for many Kiwi households,” Beef and Lamb NZ chief executive Kit Arkwright told RNZ’s Checkpoint.

He said 90% of beef and lamb produced in New Zealand was exported, with local prices determined by what foreigners were willing to pay.

“There is a strong global demand for protein. At the same time, we have seen supply side impacts. So big exporting countries like Brazil have had a BSE crisis [mad cow disease] the epidemic, Argentina has limited its exports, Australia is rebuilding its herd,” said Arkwright.

“These factors are coming together and they are putting pressure here on the price domestically.”

All of this leaving kiwi carnivores petrified by the price of their favorites.

Statistics NZ’s latest food price index shows meat, poultry and fish prices rose 3.6% between December 2021 and January 2022

Meat prices rose 5.7% in January from a year ago.

“We are an exporting country, we don’t consume as much as we export, so we pay world prices,” Todd Treadwell, owner of Well Hung butcher, told Checkpoint.

“Freight costs go up, everything goes up, which just drives up the prices,” he said.

“We’re definitely in an inflationary climate, it’s going to keep growing. It’s climbing every week.”


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