According to new research we should be paying the same for an Ulster Fry as we did in 2008. Some chance!

The Ulster Bank, an organisation not generally associated with cooked breakfasts, have published their Ulster Fry Index which has revealed you should be paying significantly less for a fry up.

The bank’s popular measure of food price inflation – compiled by its Chief Economist, NI, Richard Ramsey – shows that the collective cost of items in a traditional Ulster Fry have fallen by 8.5% in just 12 months.

This makes the cost of these items the cheapest they have been since October 2008, according to the index, which is based on the official retail price statistics.


Whilst the collective price of these breakfast items is at its lowest in over seven years, looking over the longer-term reveals that they are 26% dearer than they would have been 10 years ago, and 37% more expensive than in April 1998. Could the signing of the Good Friday Agreement have signalled the beginning of the end for cheap Ulster Fries.

Richard Ramsey says that the Ulster Fry Index is good fun but contains an important economic message.

“There are a wide range of quirky indices around the world – from the Big Mac Index to the Cappuccino Index – which are intended to put economics into layman’s terms, and to shed new light on important economic issues,” he said. “Ours is the Ulster Fry Index, and it hopefully gives the person on the street a clearer idea of why their household finances currently are the way they are.

“Of late, for instance, households have been benefiting from low or no inflation, falling food and energy prices, wage rises, and historically low interest rates. This has created something of a sweet spot for consumers, and perhaps helps explain things like the rise in number of cafes and restaurants in Belfast, plus the relatively strong retail environment that we have seen,” he adds.

Price changes in the past year

Butter -16.8%

Bacon -16.3%

Coffee -8.2%

Sausages -7.5%

Bread -5.5%

Eggs -3.2%

Milk -4.5%

Mushrooms -0.7%

Tomatoes -0.5%

Tea 0%

Further information about the Ulster Bank Ulster Fry Index is available at

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