What is the cost of a healthy food basket in Ireland in 2020?
To estimate the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) Healthy Food Basket for 2020 and to present the cost as a proportion of take-home income for six household types in the Republic of Ireland.
The food basket is part of a minimum essential standard of living and identifies a food basket that everyone should be able to afford. It represents a socially acceptable and nutritious food basket. The 2018 food basket costs were updated in 2020 by applying the Republic of Ireland Consumer Price Index (CPI).
- Low income households need to spend between 13% and35% of their take-home income to buy a healthy minimum essential food basket. This is dependant of household composition and location
- Food costs rise as children grow older, food is a significant cost for households with an adolescent. The cost of food for a teenager was almost double the cost of food for a pre-school child.
- Food costs are more expensive for rural households with the exception of the single adult
- Households receiving state benefits only spend a larger percentage of take home income on the food basket than households with an employed adult.
- This research highlights the challenges when trying to balance buying a healthy food basket with other weekly household expenses.
- Meat, breads and cereals, dairy products, fruit, and vegetables account for the largest share of the food basket.
- Spending on restaurants, cafes, fast food, takeaways and visitors are an important part of the food basket highlighting the social and cultural aspects of food. It ensures that households can participate in activities that are considered to be part of everyday life.