Many fear they will struggle to cope if food prices continue to rise rapidly

A LARGE number of people are concerned that if prices continue to rise at the current pace, they will not be able to afford to keep buying groceries.

And most people in this country consider the cost of food to be unacceptably high.

Nearly half of adults believe food prices are rising many times higher than official figures, a consumer study by iReach Insights shows.

About 96 percent of adults reported an increase in the cost of groceries over the past month, according to the survey of a nationwide representative sample of adults.

The average amount adults spend on groceries is €125 per week.

But a third of adults spend less, spending between €51 and €100 on groceries every week.

Almost half of adults think the cost of their weekly grocery expenses has increased by 11 to 20 percent, iReach Insights found. That’s far more than the official numbers.

The latest inflation figures from the Central Statistics Office show that food inflation was 4.5 percent in May.

But individual items like milk were up 10 percent more expensive last year, while butter was just over 11 percent more expensive.

Margarine rose just over 20 percent year-on-year in May.

The iReach Insights survey found that a majority of adults think the cost of groceries in Ireland is unacceptably high.

The poll found that 60 percent are worried they won’t be able to afford groceries if costs continue to rise.

Researchers found that 48 percent of adults have come under financial pressure due to the rise in food prices.

A third of adults report that the cost of meat and seafood has increased by 21 to 40 percent. And they report strong price increases for dairy products.

The poll results come weeks after a Europe-wide survey found that prices in that country are the highest in the union of 27.

The prices here are 40 percent higher than the average in the European Union.

And the gap between what is being collected here and what is being collected on the continent is widening.

Irish people pay far more than the EU average for food, drink, energy, transport, communications and restaurants, according to a new report from Eurostat.

Prices in Ireland, along with Denmark, are the highest in the 27-member European Union.

Ireland has the highest prices for alcohol and tobacco.

This country is the third most expensive for groceries and non-alcoholic beverages, with prices here averaging 19 percent above the EU average.

According to a survey by the Sunday Times, buyers here pay up to 70 percent more than in Great Britain for Irish goods.

Analysis shows that a 400g tin of Sudocrem costs €11.79 at Tesco Ireland, while the same product costs just £5.80 (€6.85) at Tesco in the UK.

This corresponds to a price difference of 72 pieces.

Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy said: “It is clear that Irish consumers are being ripped off and nobody seems to be in control of this situation.

“The government and the [Competition and Consumer Protection Commission] need to clarify the full reasons why Irish customers are paying more than their UK counterparts for exactly the same products.” Many fear they will struggle to cope if food prices continue to rise rapidly

Fry Electronics Team

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