New data from Stats NZ offers hope that inflation may be starting to ease with food prices down in October – led by cheese. Consumer prices manager James Mitchell says Food prices in New Zealand were 6.3% higher than a year ago but were cheaper in October 2023 than they were in September. Stats NZ says food prices fell 0.9% in October due to cheaper fruit and vegetables followed by grocery food – especially cheese, white bread, and muesli bars. But looking at it on an annual basis prices rose across all five groups for the 12 months to October 2023. Grocery food prices increased 7.9%. Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices up 7.7%. Non-alcoholic beverages were up 5.7%, with meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables prices 3.3% and fish also increasing 3.3%. The food group increase was mainly driven by higher prices for fresh eggs, potato crisps, and yoghurt.