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2020 NRAUS Australia New Zealand Food Category Cost Dataset

Citation

Blumfield, Michelle et al. (2021), 2020 NRAUS Australia New Zealand Food Category Cost Dataset, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gb5mkkwq0

Abstract

This Australian and New Zealand food category cost dataset was created to inform diet and economic modelling for low and medium socioeconomic households in Australia and New Zealand. The dataset was created according to the INFORMAS protocol, which details the methods to systematically and consistently collect and analyse information on the price of foods, meals and affordability of diets in different countries globally. Food categories were informed by the Food Standards Australian New Zealand (FSANZ) AUSNUT (AUStralian Food and NUTrient Database) 2011-13 database, with additional food categories created to account for frequently consumed and culturally important foods.

Methods

The dataset was created according to the INFORMAS protocol [1], which detailed the methods to collect and analyse information systematically and consistently on the price of foods, meals, and affordability of diets in different countries globally.

Cost data were collected from four supermarkets in each country: Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, two (Coles Merrylands and Woolworths Auburn) were located in a low and two (Coles Zetland and Woolworths Burwood) were located in a medium metropolitan socioeconomic area in New South Wales from 7-11th December 2020.  In New Zealand, two (Countdown Hamilton Central and Pak ‘n Save Hamilton Lake) were located in a low and two (Countdown Rototuna North and Pak ‘n Save Rosa Birch Park) in a medium socioeconomic area in the North Island, from 16-18th December 2020.

Locations in Australia were selected based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD) [2]. The index ranks areas from most disadvantaged to most advantaged using a scale of 1 to 10. IRSAD quintile 1 was chosen to represent low socio-economic status and quintile 3 for medium SES socio-economic status. Locations in New Zealand were chosen using the 2018 NZ Index of Deprivation and statistical area 2 boundaries [3].  Low socio-economic areas were defined by deciles 8-10 and medium socio-economic areas by deciles 4-6. The supermarket locations were chosen according to accessibility to researchers. Data were collected by five trained researchers with qualifications in nutrition and dietetics and/or nutrition science.

All foods were aggregated into a reduced number of food categories informed by the Food Standards Australian New Zealand (FSANZ) AUSNUT (AUStralian Food and NUTrient Database) 2011-13 database, with additional food categories created to account for frequently consumed and culturally important foods. Nutrient data for each food category can therefore be linked to the Australian Food and Nutrient (AUSNUT) 2011-13 database [4] and NZ Food Composition Database (NZFCDB) [5] using the 8-digit codes provided for Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

Data were collected for three representative foods within each food category, based on criteria used in the INFORMAS protocol: (i) the lowest non-discounted price was chosen from the most commonly available product size, (ii) the produce was available nationally, (iii) fresh produce of poor quality was omitted. One sample was collected per representative food product per store, leading to a total of 12 food price samples for each food category. The exception was for the ‘breakfast cereal, unfortified, sugars ≤15g/100g’ food category in the NZ dataset, which included only four food price samples because only one representative product per supermarket was identified.

Variables in this dataset include: (i) food category and description, (ii) brand and name of representative food, (iii) product size, (iv) cost per product, and (v) 8-digit code to link product to nutrient composition data (AUSNUT and NZFCDB).

References

  1. Vandevijvere, S.; Mackay, S.; Waterlander, W. INFORMAS Protocol: Food Prices Module [Internet]. Available online: https://auckland.figshare.com/articles/journal_contribution/INFORMAS_Protocol_Food_Prices_Module/5627440/1 (accessed on 25 October).
  2. 2071.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016  Available online: https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/2071.0~2016~Main%20Features~Socio-Economic%20Advantage%20and%20Disadvantage~123 (accessed on 10 December).
  3. Socioeconomic Deprivation Indexes: NZDep and NZiDep, Department of Public Health. Available online: https://www.otago.ac.nz/wellington/departments/publichealth/research/hirp/otago020194.html#2018 (accessed on 10 December)
  4. AUSNUT 2011-2013 food nutrient database. Available online: https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/science/monitoringnutrients/ausnut/ausnutdatafiles/Pages/foodnutrient.aspx (accessed on 15  November).
  5. NZ Food Composition Data. Available online: https://www.foodcomposition.co.nz/ (accessed on 10 December)

Usage Notes

The uploaded data includes an Excel spreadsheet where a separate worksheet is provided for the Australian food price database and New Zealand food price database, respectively. All cost data are presented to two decimal points, and the mean and standard deviation of each food category is presented. For some representative foods in NZ, the only NFCDB food code available was for a cooked product, whereas the product is purchased raw and cooked prior to eating, undergoing a change in weight between the raw and cooked versions. In these cases, a conversion factor was used to account for the weight difference between the raw and cooked versions, to ensure that nutrient information (on accessing from the NZFCDB) was accurate. This conversion factor was developed based on the weight differences between the cooked and raw versions, and checked for accuracy by comparing quantities of key nutrients in the cooked vs raw versions of the product.

Funding

Kellogg's

Nutrition Research Australia

Nutrition Research Australia