The cost of Christmas dinner

In more of the spirit of things festive, Stats NZ have released a series of data looking at the cost of two different types of NZ Christmas dinner, both this year and in previous years.

christmas bunny(No, rabbit is not on the menu)

And, because I enjoy graphing, I thought I’d take some of the data and make pretty pictures with it.

(Note: data based on consumption of a family of 4 - two adults, two kids - and prices are based on weighted average retail prices collected for the Food Price Index).

[slideshare id=2719917&doc=christmasdinner09-091214213308-phpapp01]

(If you battle to read the words, no worries - simply click on the ‘full’ button on the bottom left of the presentation)

Slide 1

First up, let’s look at the cost of the two types of dinner - one a traditional dinner, and the other a ‘kiwi barbecue’ (as a foreigner, I have yet to assess any quantitative difference between Kiwi barbecues and, for example, South African braais, but yes).

As you’ll see, there’s not been much difference between the two - while there’s been a bit of toing and froing over the years, the race for price supremacy is currently neck and neck.  Meaning that you’ll have to decide for yourselves which you prefer.

There’s been a $13.50 increase in the price of this dinner since 1999, mostly due to rising prices for lamb and whole chicken.

Slide 2

This shows a breakdown of the costs involved in putting on a traditional Christmas dinner. If you have a look at the data (Slide 4), you’ll see that much of the savings this year have come from a drop in the price of whole chicken and kumara.

Not surprisingly, mains comprise the largest single cost, mostly because of all that meat.

Slide 3

Savings this year came from a drop in the price of potatoes. Again, the mains comprise most of the cost, although it’s a bit cheaper than for the traditional dinner.

The $11.50 increase in cost since 1999 is due primarily to increases in the cost of steak and, amusingly, pavlova.

Slides 4/5

For anyone who’s not all that interested in popping on to NZ Statistics’ website (although I’d suggest you do, as they have fun numbers for all sorts of things), I’ve also included the data set behind the graphs.


Whichever dinner you choose, I hope it’s a fantastic one!  The prices above obviously don’t include wine/beer etc (too variable, I guess), but a toast to everyone :)

P.S. When buying chicken/pork, I’d encourage everyone to buy free range and happy…

  • David Winter

    Arrgh! The Dreaded Pie Chart! I sense the coming of some sort of anti-cool graph war once I’m on holiday ;)

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  • Aimee Whitcroft

    Waha. Not normally a fan of them myself, but was having fun playing. I kinda miss Mekko charts, to be honest :)