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Research project

Northern Ireland Take Home Food and Drink Purchases (2016, 2019, 2020)

Northern Ireland specific

In Northern Ireland, the FSA has a remit for dietary health surveillance. We commissioned Kantar Fast Moving Consumer Goods Purchase Panels (Kantar) to provide data on take-home food and drink purchasing. This report explores purchasing in 2016, 2019 and 2020 in Northern Ireland.

Last updated: 16 December 2021
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2016 versus 2019

  • In 2019, Northern Ireland households spent more money on take home food and drink than in 2016. However, there was an average of nine shopping occasions less in 2019 when compared to 2016.
  • All family types and ABC1 households were purchasing more alcohol (Spirits and Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages) in 2019, compared to 2016.
  • All family types purchased more Diet Soft Drinks in 2019 than in 2016.
  • In 2019, Fruit, Chocolate Confectionery, Milk and Biscuits (sweet) increased in their percentage contribution to total sugar purchasing when compared to 2016. 
  • Out of the top five contributors to salt purchasing, Meat Products and Processed Meats was the only category to increase in percentage contribution when comparing 2016 to 2019.
  • Data on take home food and drink purchases of Northern Ireland households correlate with the latest findings from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, which shows that Northern Ireland households are consuming more sugar, fat, and saturated fat than the recommended daily intake, and not enough fibre.

2019 versus 2020

  • Based on the purchasing data, it seems that Covid-19 restrictions did impact take home food and drink purchasing, with increases in spend and total volume purchased and decreases in the average number of shopping occasions (frequency) and promotion purchasing.
  • Even though there was an increase in spend and volume purchased for most food and drink categories, this did not result in major changes in the percentage share of total spend and total volume of categories.
  • Based on take home food and drink purchasing, there was an increase in energy (kcal), total sugars (g), total fat (g) and saturated fat (g) purchased per person per day during 2020, compared to a decrease from 2016 to 2019.
  • For all family types, social class and urban and rural households, there was an increase in percentage share of total volume for Total Alcohol and a decrease in Cakes in 2020 when compared to 2019.
  • Pre/Young and Middle Mix families increased their percentage share of total volume for Morning Goods in 2020 when compared to 2019. However, Empty Nesters/Retired families decreased their percentage share of total volume for Morning Goods when comparing the same years.
  • The spend on total promotions decreased in 2020 to 21.6% when compared to 2019 and 2016.
  • The spend on total promotions decreased in 2020 to 21.6% when compared to 2019 and 2016.

 

Research report

Northern Ireland