Stats NZ’s basket follows food fashion

Additions and subtractions from the basket of goods Statistics NZ uses to compile its food price index reflect changing fashions in eating habits.

1993:  grapes, frozen mixed vegetables, mussels, over the counter milk, infant formula and ethnic meals were added;  Brussels sprouts, frozen beans, canned meat (corned beef) canned sardines, rolled oats and white pepper were removed.

1999: avocado, alfalfa sprouts, capsicum, taro, fresh pasta and energy drinks replaced delivered milk, milk powder, quiche and baked potatoes.

2002: instant noodles and olive oil appeared and soya bean cooking oil went.

2006: spring onions, canned soup, soy sauce, dried herbs, ground coffee,  bottled water and complete frozen meals were added;  Worcestershire sauce, pepper corns, soup powder and takeaway soup were removed.

2008: fresh pineapple, cooked chicken, soy milk, free range eggs, hummus dip and chilled fruit juice were added in place of fresh peaches, saveloys and condensed milk.

2011: dried apricots, frozen berries, frozen chicken nuggets and flatbread were added and nothing was taken out.

The next review will be carried out in 2014.

Information for the FPI review came from a survey of about 3,100 households, from food manufacturers and distributors and supermarket scan data from the Nielsen Company.

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