Ulster fry jumps almost 7% in price since Brexit vote

However, Ulster Fry Index rose just 0.9 per cent in past year, its slowest rate since 2016

Ulster fry: a Northern Irish staple. Photograph: Getty

Ulster fry: a Northern Irish staple. Photograph: Getty


The price of an Ulster fry, one of the North’s favourite cooked breakfasts, has jumped an estimated 6.8 per cent since the UK voted to leave the EU.

Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank’s chief economist in Northern Ireland, and the author of the annual Ulster Fry Index, says his research shows that the cost of a fry in the North has soared since the UK’s EU Referendum in June 2016.

According to Mr Ramsey fry lovers in the North are also paying 25 per cent more than they would have for their favourite cooked breakfast a decade ago and 52 per cent more since the Belfast Agreement was signed more than 20 years ago.

The economist’s latest Ulster Fry Index shows that a number of the key ingredients for a fry fell in price (based on the UK Retail Price Index) over the 12 months to February, which resulted in only a slight inflationary rise in the average price of a cooked breakfast in the North in the past year.

Bacon suffered a price drop of 5.1 per cent over the 12-month period while the cost of tea fell by 3.9 per cent and the price of eggs dropped by 2.5 per cent.

Spreading issue

The cost of other key staples of a fry including sausages and tomatoes rose also, at rates well below the headline inflation rate, although the price of margarine soared 21.7 per cent and butter 6.9 per cent.

Overall the Ulster Fry Index rose just 0.9 per cent in the past year, its lowest rate of inflation since 2016 – which compares well to a rate of 2.8 per cent in March 2017 and 4.3 per cent in March 2018.

According to Mr Ramsey, although his Ulster Fry Index “is a bit of fun”, it also highlights an important economic message.

“Food makes up a significant proportion of household spending. Food and drink is also a key sector of the Northern Ireland economy. So, understanding how the price of food items is changing gives us some insight into both the current state of consumer finances and also some of the challenges facing the agri-food industry,” he said.