Settling into your new life in Aotearoa, New Zealand, one of the biggest initial shocks will be the cost of living – specifically, the cost of food. Depending on the time of year, you’ll either be pleasantly surprised by the roadside stalls selling a handful of avocados for $1, or you’ll be picking your jaw off the floor at the $8 price tag for a head of broccoli.
Yes, New Zealand truly is an island with all the benefits and disadvantages that brings. The country grows much of its own produce thanks to its fertile soils and varied climate. However, that means that the price you pay in the supermarket will differ greatly depending on the season.
Below, we take a look at some common groceries and the current costs in New Zealand compared to the UK. The supermarkets in question are Tesco and Pak’n’Save, and every effort has been made to compare like for like, with similar brands being compared.
We’ll go into more detail after the cost comparison to explain a few discrepancies.
|Milk (2L/4pints)||£1.45||$3.73 / £1.77|
|Bread (mid-range)||£1.39||$1.99 / £0.95|
|Butter (per kg)||£7.56||$14.00 / £6.66|
|Mild Cheese (per kg)||£8.00||$9.99 / £4.75|
|Beef Mince (per kg)||£6.53 kg||$14.49 / £6.90|
|Pork Sausages (per kg)||£4.92||$8.49 / £4.04|
|Dozen Free Range Eggs||£3||$10.05 / £4.78|
|Tinned tomatoes||£0.35||$0.99 / £0.47|
|Loose tomatoes (per kg)||£2.35||$12.99 / £6.18|
|Apples (per kg)||£2.60||$1.99 / £0.95|
|Grapes (per kg)||£3.60||$14.99 / £7.14|
|Bananas (per kg)||£1.01||$3.29 / £1.57|
|Bell peppers (each)||£0.55||$4.49 / £2.14|
|Cucumber (each)||£0.79||$5.49 / £2.62|
So, is New Zealand more expensive than the UK?
In short, the answer is yes. The price of groceries in New Zealand is subject to much more fluctuation – it only takes a bad spell of weather to impact the growing season and bump up the prices. That being said, if you’re prepared to eat seasonally and buy based on what is on special, you won’t feel the impacts quite as much.
At the time of writing this article, it is August in New Zealand, toward the end of winter. So, while grapes and bell peppers (or capsicums as we call them) are on the pricier side, they’ll come down slightly as the weather warms.
Do you have a question about the cost of living in NZ?
Pop your questions in the comments below, and we’ll endeavour to answer them in an upcoming blog.
Sarah Todhunter is a writer, mother-of-two and a dual citizen of New Zealand and the UK. As the sole proprietor of Fyxen Copywriters, she has navigated the ups and downs of moving a business and family across hemispheres, sharing the lessons she’s learned along the way.