06th March 2019

Northern Ireland households spend £240 per year more on food and drink than UK average

The latest Family Spending in the UK Survey shows that an average household in Northern Ireland spends nearly 8%, or £240, per year more on buying food and non-alcoholic drinks than the UK average.

John French, Chief Executive of The Consumer Council said, “The latest results show households in Northern Ireland spend significantly more on red meat, bread, cakes, biscuits, milk, butter, potatoes, chocolate and soft drinks when compared to the average household in the UK.

“Unfortunately, disposable incomes in Northern Ireland are around 20%, or £3,700, per year lower than the UK average. Therefore, The Consumer Council would encourage shoppers to consider how they can shop around for the best deal when doing their weekly food shop. Websites such as can help. Savings of up to 30%, or £990, per year can be made by looking around for offers and substituting premium brands for shop own brands. 

Self-scanning handsets that many supermarkets have now introduced can help households to budget and keep track of spending as they shop. The Money Advice Service estimate that £200 per year could be saved by household budgeting and using a shopping list. 

In addition, websites such as contain simple suggestions to minimise the cost of wasted food, which WRAP estimates cost the average UK household £810 per year.” 

On Friday 8 March from 10am, The Consumer Council are hosting a Consumer Parliament at the Spires Conference Centre in Belfast. We would encourage consumers to take the opportunity and have their say about food costs, or any other consumer issue in Northern Ireland. You can register for the free event via or by calling 0800 121 6022.