Ireland’s food prices ranked as second most expensive in Eurozone

Irish prices for milk, cheese and eggs were 25% higher than the EU average
Ireland’s food prices ranked as second most expensive in Eurozone

Food prices in Ireland have been ranked as second most expensive in the Eurozone in 2021, new figures show (Aaron Chown/PA)

As consumers face continually rising prices for goods and services, it has now been confirmed that Ireland is ranked as the second most expensive country for food in the Eurozone.

The Central Statistics Office has revealed that even before costs started to rise dramatically in recent months, food prices in Ireland were already 17% above the EU27 average in 2021. 

That made them the second most expensive in the Eurozone, and third most expensive in the European Union.

The analysis from the CSO follows statistics earlier this week from Kantar which showed the estimated cost of a food shop has increased by €100 since the start of May and by €453 extra since the start of the year.

Senior retail analyst Emer Healy said: “We’ve seen some of the sharpest increases in essentials like butter, eggs, bread, and flour, which are a non-negotiable feature on the shopping list for many of us.” 

The CSO report is based on statistics published by Eurostat for 36 European countries.

Alcoholic drinks in Ireland is the second most expensive in both the Eurozone and the EU (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

For alcoholic drinks, Ireland was the second most expensive country in both the Eurozone and the EU, with prices of alcohol here just over double the EU average in 2021.

For tobacco, Ireland was the most expensive of the 36 countries surveyed in 2021, with prices 145% higher than the EU27 average.

Edel Flannery, senior statistician in the CSO's prices division, said: “Looking at specific food categories, we can see that prices for the various types of foods in Ireland were all higher than the EU27 average in 2021, except for fish, which was 3% lower.

“Prices for milk, cheese and eggs in Ireland were 25% higher than the EU27 average, while oils and fats were 22% higher, and breads and cereals were 20% higher.

“For non-alcoholic beverages, Ireland was joint with Malta as the most expensive of the Eurozone in 2021, and second most expensive of the EU27 countries, with prices 37% higher than the EU27 average."

She said that of the 36 countries surveyed, Iceland had the highest prices of alcohol, at 186% above the EU27 average. Alcoholic drinks were cheapest in North Macedonia, at 19% below the EU27 average."

Overall, of the 36 countries, food was most expensive in Switzerland at 69% above the EU27 average, and least expensive in Turkey at 37% below the EU27 average.

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