Changes to the way food inflation is measured

Statistics New Zealand spokesman Jason Attewell said luncheon would no longer be included in the Food Price Index calculations.

Nor will milkshakes, cottage cheese, spring onions, alfalfa sprouts or canned corn.

Instead, olives, fresh herbs and herbal tea will be added.

Mr Attewell said the index was reviewed every three years following a survey to see what people were buying.

The food price index measures how overall prices change each month.

The calculations include 162 different foods.

“Shoppers will still be able to buy luncheon sausage in supermarkets, of course,” Mr Attewell said.

If we are no longer buying luncheon and canned corn, but we are buying olives, fresh herbs and herbal teas, what exactly does that say about our prosperity as a country?  These are not like-for-like substitutions but a reflection of a more affluent grocery buyer.

Wouldn’t any “inflation” reflect that we have also increased the quality and “luxury” of produce we are purchasing?

What “we” are purchasing as a population is also shifting due to a wider variety of immigrants that would rather suck the hairs on a live goat’s sack than eat a tin of creamed corn.




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