Friday 19 January 2018

Breakfast to get boost as cost of Full Irish drops

The full Irish breakfast
The full Irish breakfast
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Plump, succulent sausages, crispy toast and hot coffee. It's hard to resist the lure of a good traditional breakfast.

And there's good news for consumers who like to kick off the weekend with the Full Irish - whether at home or by indulging at the local café - because the price seems likely to drop.

The cost of key breakfast staples on the global markets is at its lowest in five years, according to 'The Financial Times' breakfast index.

The index analyses the weighted average of six commodities that make up the components of a breakfast meal - wheat, milk, coffee, orange juice, sugar, and lean hogs.

And as a result, the Irish restaurant industry is preparing for the probability that they will have to drop the price of the big fry-up.

"It will absolutely mean that prices will come down," said Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Irish Restaurants Association.

"If you look at the last five years of the recession, businesses have had to adapt because of what was happening in the markets.

"We've seen the prices in restaurants drop considerably and breakfast is no different to any other meal," he said.

The Breakfast Index shows wheat prices are down 23pc on last year - while lean hog used for sausages is down 16pc.

Coffee, sugar and orange juice have also decreased by 28pc, 22pc and 10pc respectively.

The index doesn't include two other typical staples of the Full Irish - bacon and tea. Neither was there any mention of baked beans.

Those who insist on pork sausages won't feel the full benefit of the price drops because a decline in the number of pigs being bred in China means that pork prices are rising.

Ironically, however, just as the price has plunged, the Full Irish is no longer as popular as it used to be during the boom, largely because of the new focus health issues.

"Breakfast is always something certain businesses specialised in but I suppose it's not as huge as it used to be," said Mr Cummins.

"People might say 'I'll have my breakfast at home but I'll have my lunch in the local pub or restaurant.'"

There is one exception, however, and that is the rise and rise of the hipster favourite, the brunch menu - where the Full Irish will always have its place, among newbies like the granola and the short stack.

"Sunday brunch is definitely a big thing and some restaurants are trying to specialise in it," said Mr Cummins.

The relaxing ritual is a big hit with young 'Millennials' who have a greater disposable income and time to linger.

Mr Cummins said farmers would not be happy with the reduced prices.

However, he said the knock-on effect for consumers was good news for all.

Irish Independent

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