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Kiwis outraged at how much a single Countdown cabbage would cost if they bought it in quarters

Kiwis outraged at how much a single Countdown cabbage would cost if they bought it in quarters

I don't mean to get too sauerkraut, but it's way too steep.
27 April 2023 12:27PM

Another day, another expensive food shop.

A Countdown shopper took to Reddit on Wednesday night while doing their food run and stumbled upon a quarter of a cabbage priced at $3.99. 

The Reddit user went ahead and snapped a pic of the cabbage price tag and added a caption that read: 'For just $16 you can have a whole cabbage'.

A whole cabbage for 16 bucks… That feels like a whole new level of food-pricing madness.

People immediately took to the comments, with some being outraged by the price.

"It’s taking the piss," one user wrote.

"Maybe for your wedding," another joked.

"I’ve started to buy veggies from a local community garden," a third shared.

However, others came to Countdown's defence, saying a whole cabbage actually costs much less than $16.

'You can get it for $6.99,' one person wrote, sharing a link to how much a whole cabbage costs. They added, 'Halves and quarters of cabbages have never been a good deal.'

And, the person is right, a whole cabbage (at Countdown, at least) does cost $6.99.

"You're paying for someone to cut it up and repackage it. Buy whole if you want better value,' someone else added.

And that really does seem to ring true with halves and quarters, they are almost always just as expensive as the full fruit or veggie.

A Countdown spokesperson told Stuff more time and resources are required to prepare and package them into “more convenient options for customers” on the shelves.

"This is reflected in the pricing,” they said.

Countdown confirmed that the majority of processing for the chain's produce is carried out offsite at the Fresh Distribution centres. However, some of the produce does arrive already processed from suppliers.

Similarly, Emma Wooster, a spokesperson for Foodstuffs (which includes New World, Pak n Save, and Four Square), said that portioned vegetables can help to reduce the amount of potential food waste and ultimately lower costs for customers who do not require a whole vegetable.

That doesn't make sense in my mind, but you go, Emma Wooster. 

If a customer does opt for a cut vegetable, Wooster said the higher cost is likely due to the "extra labour or packaging involved".

So while I can now let out a sigh of relief knowing cabbage doesn't have to cost more than a whole box of choc bar ice blocks, we still have a ways to go before prices really die down in NZ supermarkets. 

We've seen food prices rise higher and higher in the past few years. Back in January, food prices notched up their largest annual increase in 32 years - up 11.3 percent on December 2021 and Stats NZ showed that fruit and vegetable have risen by 23 percent.

A lot of Kiwis have already had to change the way they shop - thinking about how much meat they can afford, the effect their food shop has on the environment, and being more cautious of food waste as well. 

As recently as this month, supermarket suppliers have revealed Kiwis are getting "screwed over" when it comes to the price of food at Countdown and Foodstuffs.

A lettuce grower even said that they sell one lettuce to a supermarket for $3, but customers would have to pay over $6 for that same lettuce in-store. 

So keep those wallets out of harm's way, friends - and whatever you do, never buy four quarter-cabbages for the price of $16.