Using data from the fifth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this study investigates the association between food insecurity (FI) and several demographic and socioeconomic characteristics in a sample of individuals aged 50 and over in 15 European countries. On average, approximately 12% of individuals that eat meat/fish/poultry or fruit/vegetables less than 3 times per week cannot afford to eat these food items more often. Our Heckman probit analysis reveals that being employed, having higher levels of education and household income are associated with a lower probability of being unable to afford meat/fish/poultry or fruit/vegetables on a regular basis. Pronounced country-specific heterogeneity is also observed in food unaffordability: relative to Germany, the Eastern and Southern European countries, particularly the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Italy, and Spain, are more vulnerable to food unaffordability. Nonlinear decompositional results show that household income and being employed are the two main contributors to the food unaffordability gap between high FI and low FI prevalence among European countries.