The Prices of Fresh Fruit, Meat and Vegetables Compared

We didn’t have a post on Monday because it was a public holiday here in Australia.

And there were no posts last Wednesday or Friday because I was on holiday in Japan. Tokyo to be precise. It’s a little different to Australia…





TokyoWe did get out of Tokyo for one day as well, taking a coach trip to Mount Fuji. It’s up there in the clouds somewhere…

mount-fujiWe should have had a great view of it on the Hakone cable car, but didn’t. It was a rather misty day…

Hakone cable carAccording to one of their posters, this is what we might have seen on a clear sunny day…

Hakone cable carWe got the bullet train back…

bullet-trainV fast.

magazineTokyo was amazing and the Japanese people were incredibly friendly and helpful. Despite the images I’ve shown you, we were actually very lucky with the weather. We enjoyed five sunny and rain free days during the week including the two we spent at Disneyland.

So we were very happy with that even if we didn’t see the tip of Mount Fuji.

But this isn’t Bobinihon, it’s Bobinoz, so let’s get back to Australia. Here is a reprint of one of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles, this one appeared in their August edition.

Meat and two veg


In the olden days, the big meal of the day in England would more likely than not be meat and two veg. Since then, many countries, including the UK and Australia, have become multi-cultural and we now eat a more varied cuisine.

It wasn’t that long ago that Chinese stir-fry replaced chicken tikka masala as the UK’s most popular dish. Here in Australia, the Aussie meat pie has always been high on the list. Yes, I know, not very multicultural, but we did get the idea from Britain.

It matters not how food trends go though, one thing will always be certain. A good diet should contain as much fresh fruit and veg, meat and fish as possible. Recently I took a look at the prices of these fresh food items in both the UK and Australia to compare them.

The results were a little surprising, even for me.

I’m not a regular supermarket shopper; if I go I like to take my young daughter with me to help me find those difficult items, like milk and bread.

For my shopping experiment I used the leading supermarkets from each of our countries, namely Woolworths and Tesco, and did my virtual shopping online. Both websites had a search box; I liked that. In my first comparison, I bought five items of fresh fruit and five fresh vegetables.

This was a scientifically controlled experiment; that means I closed my office door when doing my research. According to me, as I was halfway through and had finished buying the fresh fruit, the UK fruit was 29% more expensive than Australia’s.

The vegetables though, that was a different story altogether. Overall, my five items were uncomfortably close to 3 times more expensive here in Australia. Broccoli, for example, was more than 3 times what it costs in the UK. Imagine the disappointment when you break the news to your kids that there will be no broccoli on their plate because of the cost.

It’s heartbreaking.

Fresh meat was a different story though. I ‘virtually’ purchased 10 kilos of meat from each country, from steaks to shanks and fillets to mince, not forgetting, of course, the sausages. My various portions of lamb, beef, pork and chicken cost $163 here, compared with £100 in the UK. Meat then, at the exchange rate at that time, was about 18% more expensive in the UK than here in Australia.

What you lose on the veg you claw back on the meat.

Finally, fresh fish. Another 20 kg later, my haul of fish in the UK had cost me around £146. This fish didn’t always appear to be truly ‘fresh’ though, much of it having been caught elsewhere, frozen and then thawed before being put on the shelves in the UK.

There was no suggestion of any freezing or thawing of Australian fish though, so our fresh fish just might be fresher. Of course, our fish weren’t the same. For example, we have shark in our seas, you have haddock.

Our fish cost $269, so not much in it, although the Australian fish still managed to be a tad cheaper. Fresh food shopping has never been this exciting; it’s been a great contest, but I think it’s one that Australia has just about edged.


That’s the end of the article as it appeared in the magazine. Since I wrote it though, the UK has voted for Brexit and the pound against the Australian dollar has plummeted even further. I think it was around one GBP = $1.85 AUD, today is about $1.67 AUD.

That doesn’t make fresh food any cheaper in the UK for those of you who live there and it certainly doesn’t make them more expensive for us living in Australia.

It does make the above figures slightly wrong now though.

For full details of my cost comparisons, visit:

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • pete October 6, 2016, 10:07 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Glad you enjoyed Japan, nice place for a holiday.
    I think due to up and down exchange rates you should use the
    good old hard Yakka

    • BobinOz October 7, 2016, 7:20 pm | Link

      Yes, I should have really. When the hard yakka rules are applied, Australia’s prices look far more attractive.

  • Alexander October 6, 2016, 3:52 pm | Link

    In Kazakhstan, which has traditionally viewed itself as a meat nation – it has always produced and consumed a lot of flesh, meat costs KZT 1,200+, depending on whether it is a huge piece with bones and other natural but still undesirable integral components, sold at open-air bazaars, or sliced meat with just meat in it or chopped meat with or with no fat mixed available from department stores. Unfortunately, AU dollars are not traded in Kazakhstan and therefore I recalculate using US dollars. The exchange rate is some KZT335 per 1 greenback = 1,200 / 335 = min $3.6 per kg of meat. We almost never buy fish, neither fresh nor canned, to avoid meeting in person parasitic worms. It is normal to find 2-3 long things in a fish’ liver. A historical narration from a fish seller is demonstrative – she did not get rid of a fish in which she found a 2m long worm and she did spend some time pulling it carefully out for the fish to be cooked. Ugly.

    • BobinOz October 6, 2016, 9:23 pm | Link

      Well, your meat sounds about the same price as our chicken, and your fish sounds rather scary. I’m not surprised you almost never buy it.

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