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Research project

Northern Ireland Take Home Food and Drink Purchases (2014 and 2018)

Northern Ireland specific

The Food Standards Agency with Kantar Fast Moving Consumer Goods (Kantar FMCG) carried out research in Northern Ireland (NI) to monitor take home food and drink purchasing. This data has been collated into a report examining key trends and identifying food and drink categories that are of concern to dietary health.


The FSA in NI is responsible for dietary health surveillance. One part of this surveillance is the monitoring of take home food and drink purchases in NI. This means all food and drink purchased and brought into the home excluding takeaways delivered to the home and food ordered at restaurants. Dietary health surveillance provides a comprehensive understanding of what NI consumers are eating and purchasing, as well as their attitudes and behaviours with regards to food. This data is important in creating an evidence base that informs policy development, implementation and evaluation. 

Research Approach

Kantar FMCG chose 650 households to reflect the NI population by region and demographics.


  • In 2018, the NI population spent more money on take home food and drink and shopped more frequently than in 2014.  
  • Following the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, the data indicates that there has been a decrease in total volume of regular soft drinks and an increase in total volume of diet soft drinks.
  • The pre and young family lifestage are purchasing more pizza, chocolate confectionery, total soft drinks, potato products, crisps and savoury snacks in 2018 than in 2014.
  • There has been a reduction in spend on promotion for both foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) and healthier foods. However, NI consumers are still spending more on HFSS foods on promotion than healthier foods. 
  • ABC1 households and the pre and young family lifestage have the highest share of spend on promotion than the other demographics.
  • Data on take home food and drink purchases of NI households correlate with the latest findings from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey which shows NI households are consuming more sugar, fat and saturated fat than the recommended daily intake and not enough fibre.

The full results are outlined in the Northern Ireland Take Home Food and Drink Purchases (2014 and 2018) report.