Good news as price of food drops

Vegetables, fruit, bread and fats cost less, StatsSA reports

Believe it or not‚ the price of fuel‚ vegetables‚ oils‚ fats‚ bread‚ cereal and fruit has decreased since the start of the year. StatsSA compared the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August this year with January and found the price of vegetables had dropped by 3.6%‚ oils and fats by 3.9%‚ bread and cereals by 4% and fruit by 8.4%.

The CPI monitors the price of a basket of goods and services to see how their prices change over time.

Lettuce‚ tomatoes‚ pumpkins and potatoes, in particular, contributed to the price decrease.

Stellenbosch University dietician Irene Labuschagne suspects the public is unaware of these decreases and the value for money of buying vegetables over sweets.

“It is not as if they are going to start buying more [vegetables]‚ because they are already in the habit of buying products they are used to buying.”

Economist Dawie Roodt is not surprised by the drop in prices after last year’s drought‚ which caused a spike in prices.

“Something that is a lot cheaper this year is maize‚ which has a knock-on effect on other items such as chicken and beef,” he said.

Several products were imported due to the drought. Economist Mike Schussler said because South Africa is geographically far away from other countries, this increased prices.

StatsSA also said the fuel price had decreased by 1.6% since the start of the year.

According to Discovery Vitality ObeCity Index 2017 released yesterday‚ obesity costs the South African economy annually about R701-billion.

The index studied which food items about 500 000 Vitality members over 18 bought in Johannesburg‚ Pretoria‚ Cape Town‚ Durban‚ Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

According to their data, members who purchased healthier food have a 10% lower body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated using a person’s weight and height.

The cherry on top for those who eat healthily is that the price of fruit has decreased by 8.4% to levels last seen around June last year. Bananas‚ plums and pineapples were the main contributors to this drop.

There is also good news for those who are not banting‚ with the price of bread and cereal decreasing by 4% after rising steeply last year.

StatsSA said the decrease was due to crop production recovering from one of the worst droughts in South African history.

Recent StatsSA figures showed South Africans spent more on beer than vegetables.

Beer accounted for 2.1% of household spending while only 1.5% was spent on vegetables.

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