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If Kiwis pay too much at the supermarket, what’s the price of cheese overseas?

New Zealanders are paying too much for groceries, the competition watchdog says, but exactly how much are we spending on staple food items compared with shoppers overseas?

We are one of the most expensive places to buy groceries in the OECD, gifting supermarkets “persistently high profits”, commission chairwoman Anna Rawlings said in a draft report into the industry on Thursday.

In a Stuff comparison of some basic food items, New Zealand had the cheapest butter and instant coffee (in NZ$ terms), paid more than almost anyone else for cheese, and had the highest price for eggs. The price of chicken breast was very similar between countries.

The 11 items feature in Stats NZ’s basket of goods that make up the Consumers Price Index, the country’s official measure of inflation.


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Prices were compared between Pak ‘n Save and Countdown in New Zealand, and the biggest supermarkets in Australia (Woolworths Australia), Singapore (NTUC Fairprice), the United States (Kroger) and the United Kingdom (Tesco).

The overseas items chosen were the closest and cheapest comparison with the New Zealand category.

New Zealanders are paying too much for groceries, the competition watchdog says.


New Zealanders are paying too much for groceries, the competition watchdog says.

1kg mild cheddar cheese

Pak ‘n Save – $13.99 (Mainland Colby Cheese)

Countdown – $10.60 (Countdown Cheese Block Colby)

Woolworths – NZ$8.44/A$8.00 (Hillview Cheese Block)

Kroger – NZ$9.96/US$6.99 (Kroger Sharp Cheddar Cheese Bar 32 oz = 907g)

NTUC – NZ$27.12/S$25.74 (Food for Friends All Natural Cheese, 226g @S$5.85)

Tesco – NZ$8.82/£4.43/kg (Creamfields Mild White Cheddar Large)

2 litres standard homogenised milk

Pak ‘n Save – $3.69 (Value Standard Milk)

Countdown – $3.70 (Countdown Milk Standard)

Woolworths – NZ$2.52/A$2.39 (Woolworths Drought Relief Full Cream Milk)

Kroger – NZ$3.26/US$2.29 (Kroger VItamin D Whole MIlk, ½ gallon = 1.9 litres)

NTUC – NZ$5.42/S$5.15 (Farm Fresh Pure Fresh Milk)

Tesco – NZ$2.17/£1.09 (Tesco British Whole Milk, 2.72 litres)

A block of butter is more than twice the price in Singapore.


A block of butter is more than twice the price in Singapore.

500g butter

Pak ‘n Save – $4.80 (Anchor Butter)

Countdown – $5.40 (Essentials Butter Unsalted)

Woolworths – NZ$5.27/A$5.00 (Essentials salted butter)

Kroger – NZ$6.97/US$4.89 (Challenge Salted Butter, 16oz = 453g)

NTUC – NZ$11.38/S$10.80 (Golden Churn Butter, 450g)

Tesco – NZ$5.89/£2.96 (Tesco British Salted Block Butter 250g @ £1.48)

1kg chicken breast

Pak ‘n Save – $9.99

Countdown – $9.90

Woolworths – NZ$10.02/A$9.50 (Woolworths RSPCA Approved chicken breast fillet)

Kroger – NZ$9.36/US$6.57(US$2.99 for 2lb = 450g)

NTUC – NZ$10.43/S$9.90 (Chicken Story Fresh Chicken)

Tesco – NZ$9.95/£5 for 950g (Tesco British Chicken Breast Portions)

Australians are paying more at the supermarket for bananas than Kiwis are.


Australians are paying more at the supermarket for bananas than Kiwis are.

1kg bananas

Pak ‘n Save – $1.49

Countdown – $2.80

Woolworths – NZ$5.54/A$5.25 (A72c each, seven Cavendish bananas make a kilo)

Kroger – NZ$1.39/US98c (US49c per pound, 2lb = 0.9g)

NTUC – NZ$2.47/S$2.35 for 700g

Tesco – NZ$1.45/73 pence

1kg frozen peas

Pak ‘n Save – $2.69 (Pam’s Garden Peas)

Countdown – $2.80 (Essentials Peas)

Woolworths – NZ$1.05/A$1.00 (Essentials Frozen Peas)

Kroger – NZ$4.13/US$2.90 (Kroger Traditional Favorites Green Peas, US$1 for 12 ounces = 340g)

NTUC – NZ$3.68/S$3.50 (Pan’s Meat Green Peas)

Tesco – NZ$1.31/66p (Tesco Garden Peas)

1.5kg white flour

Pak ‘n Save – $1.98 (Pam’s Pure Plain Flour)

Countdown – $2.00 (Countdown Plain Flour)

Woolworths – NZ$1.58/A$1.50 (Essentials Plain Flour, 1kg@A$1.00)

Kroger – NZ$4.70/US$3.30 (Gold Medal All purpose flour, US$1.99 for 2lb = 900g)

NTUC – NZ$2.91/S$2.77 (Pagoda premium quality plain flour, 1kg@S$1.85)

Tesco – NZ$1.19/60p (Tesco plain flour, 1.5kg)

500g pasta, dried

Pak ‘n Save – $1.09 (Value Dry Pasta Spirals)

Countdown – $1.20 (Essentials Pasta Spirals)

Woolworths – NZ84c/A80c (Essentials pasta spirals 500g)

Kroger – NZ$1.42/US$1 (Kroger Penne Rigate Pasta, 16oz = 453g)

NTUC – NZ$2.00/S$1.90 (FairPrice Pasta – Fusilli)

Tesco – NZ$1.09/55p (Tesco Quick Cook Fusilli Pasta)

New Zealanders are paying more for eggs.


New Zealanders are paying more for eggs.

12 eggs, standard

Pak ‘n Save – $4.49 (Rise N Shine Colony Size 7 Eggs)

Countdown – $4.70 (Farmer Brown eggs, brown size 7)

Woolworths – NZ$3.90/A$3.70 (Just 4 You 12 Extra Large Caged Eggs)

Kroger NZ$2.12/US$1.49 (Kroger Grade A Large Eggs, 12)

NTUC – NZ$2.37/S$2.25 (Pasar Singapore Fresh Eggs 10)

Tesco – NZ$2.78/£1.40 (Tesco 6 eggs @70p)

700g sliced bread, wholemeal

Pak ‘n Save – $2.00 (Tip Top Supersoft Wholemeal Toast Bread)

Countdown – $3.40 (Tip Top Super Soft Toast Bread Wholemeal)

Woolworths – NZ$2.42/A$2.30 (Woolworths Multigrain Sandwich Hi-fibre bread)

Kroger – NZ$2.85/US$2.00 (Private Selection 100% Whole Wheat Bread, 24oz = 680g)

NTUC – NZ$3.47/S$3.30 for 600g (Gardenia White Bread Wholemeal)

Tesco – NZ$1.97/99p (Hovis Wholemeal Medium Bread, 800g)

100g Instant coffee

Pak ‘n Save – $5.99 (Nescafe Classic)

Countdown – $4.00 (Greggs Instant Coffee Red Roast)

Woolworths – NZ$5.27/A$5.00 (Caffe Aurora Freeze Dried Coffee Italian Style)

Kroger – NZ$7.82/US$5.49 (Simple Truth Organic Instant Coffee, 3.5oz)

NTUC – NZ$6.79/S$6.45 (Tesco Gold Instant Freeze Dried Coffee)

Tesco – NZ$4.95/£2.49 (Kenco Millicano Americano Instant Coffee)

185g tuna canned

Pak ‘n Save – $3.17 (Sealord chunky style tuna in spring water)

Countdown – $3.40 (Sealord chunky style in spring water)

Woolworths – NZ$2.10/A$2.00 (Woolworths Yellowfin Tuna in Springwater)

Kroger – NZ$1.12/US79c ( Kroger Wild Caught Chunk Light Tuna in Water, 5oz = 142g)

NTUC – NZ$5.42/S$5.15 (Kirei Maruha Nichiro Ajitsuke Maguro Tuna Flakes seasoned can, 145g)

Tesco – NZ$1.17/59p (Stockwell and Co Tuna Chunks in Brine, 145g )

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