What is the cost of a healthy food basket in the Republic of Ireland in 2016? safefood & VPSJ

Issued: November 2016


This study is the second to establish the cost of a minimum essential food basket for six household types in the Republic of Ireland. A minimum essential standard of living (MESL) is derived from a negotiated consensus on what people believe is a minimum standard. It is a standard of living that meets an individuals or households physical, psychological and social needs. A MESL is based on needs not wants, it is a standard of living that no one should be expected to live below.

The 2016 study focuses on food, one of the 16 elements of a MESL. The report is presented in the context of increasing concerns of poverty in the Republic of Ireland and the challenges facing low-income families to afford a minimum essential food basket.

A balanced nutritious diet is essential for health but may be unattainable for low-income households. Families on low-income may opt for cheaper less nutritious foods, putting their health at risk. Food poverty is complex and multi-dimensional. Adequate income is important to meet basic nutritional needs and the cost of healthy food is a major contributing factor in a household’s inability to access a healthy diet.