Fans of the traditional “Ulster” fry may want to raise a fork to a new survey today (Wednesday, April 10) which shows that the price of their favourite breakfast has fallen slightly in 2024.

According to Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank’s chief economist, Northern Ireland, the average price of ingredients which feature on the typical cooked breakfast plate fell slightly in the 12 months to February 2023.

Ramsey today unveiled his annual Ulster Bank Ulster Fry Index which showed that the price of some ingredients have fallen quite significantly while others have jumped.

Depending on the hot drink of choice – tea or coffee – tea recorded the biggest single increase in the index up by 6% in the 12 months to February.

But a 7.1% fall in milk prices off set this.

According Ramsey there were also price rises in key staples for a fry – the price of pork sausages were up 2.5%, while eggs increased by 3.2% and the price of sliced loaf also jumped by 1.4%.

But there were also a drop in price when it came to bacon which dipped by 2.8%, butter which fell by a significant 7.6% and coffee which fell very slightly by 1%.

Ramsey said that overall the Ulster Fry Index sits at just 0.9% lower than the 2023 figure which saw the highest increase recorded since Ulster Bank began tracking the index in 2007.

According to the bank’s analysis the previous highest rise came in 2009, just after a recession and cost of living crisis.

Although food inflation have have eased back slightly according to Ramsey it is still causing a “real concern” for households.

“We know that food makes up a significant proportion of household spending and is also one of our most important economic drivers in terms of the local food and drink industry.

He believes that understanding how the price of these food items change “offers a useful insight into the state of typical household finances and also the overall health of the agri-food industry”.

Ramsey added: “What the Ulster Fry Index is telling us is that while the price of everyday household essentials such as butter and milk have fallen, they are still a long way off their previous positions, and this is continuing to put a squeeze on consumer spending powers.

“While it may appear to be good news initially, the reality is that many of these price decreases are too small and insignificant to fully register at the checkout and it’s clear that many households are still struggling to contend with ongoing cost pressures on what would be considered as basic, everyday household items”.