What is the cost of a healthy food basket in Northern Ireland in 2022?
Two previous research projects, in 2014 and 2016, worked with members of the public in multiple ‘deliberative focus groups’ across Northern Ireland, to agree what should be included in a minimum essential, but nutritionally adequate and socially acceptable, food basket.
This research uses Consensual Budget Standards methodology to establish the cost of the food element of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) for four household types. Separate groups of members of the public met for each household type, in three locations across Northern Ireland, and through iterative in-depth discussions, reached a consensus on what the food baskets should include.
This report presents the cost of the minimum essential food basket for the four household types, adjusted to reflect food costs in 2022, building on the data published thus far for 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. This demonstrates the average weekly cost of healthy food, and the level of household income that may need to be spent on attaining this minimum standard.
- lower-income households struggle to afford healthy foods as food prices rise.
- food inflation and the cost-of-living crisis are creating health divisions in Northern Ireland.
- for some Northern Ireland households, food costs take up 45% of the total household income, forcing families to compromise nutrition for cheaper food products.
- families with teenage children paying an extra £40 per week on food than those with younger children.