A sign of modern life, or a marker of British society's inexorable slide into middle classness? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has performed its annual reshuffle of the basket of goods, the items it uses to measure inflation. It's all gone a bit... Waitrose-y.
Among the additions to the basket are refills for ecigarettes, craft beer and sweet potatoes. Those being removed include yoghurt drinks, frozen pizzas and sat navs.
It's now been 70 years since the ONS first compiled a shopping list of items it reckons the average household tends to buy. Back then, the list included hats - of the male and female variety - as well as gas fires and cod liver oil.
Since then, gramophone records have been replaced by 12" albums, CDs and eventually MP3s, Today's release, however, includes a subscription to a music streaming service.
What the ONS says
Replaces frozen pizza as spending on chilled pizzas has risen above spending on the frozen alternative.
This item has been introduced to represent the market for offal which has not been in the basket since 1999. It also helps meet future proposed changes to European classifications.
Oven-ready joint, gammon/pork
Replaces an oven-ready joint. The item has been refined to meet proposed European classification changes which will require the joint to come from a specific animal. Gammon/pork has been chosen as the most practical for price collection purposes.
This is an under-covered class. Fruit prices vary greatly so it is beneficial to collect across as broad a range as possible.
|Sweet potato||Vegetable prices vary greatly so it is beneficial to collect across as broad a range as possible. Sweet potato represents a market not currently covered in the basket.|
|Protein powder||It represents a distinct and growing sector not previously covered within the class.|
|Speciality beer/ale, bottled|
Introduced due to the increase in expenditure and shelf space devoted to speciality/real ales.
Introduced due to the increase in expenditure as more people are using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.
Replaces white emulsion to reflect the shelf-space allocated to coloured rather than white paint.
|Mobile phone accessory||This is an under-covered class and the accessory (such as chargers and cases) has been introduced to represent a significant and growing market.|
Introduced to reflect spending on audio-visual equipment accessories.
Games consoles online subscription services
Introduced to represent the growing market for online gaming.
|Music streaming subscription services|
Introduced to capture price changes in this new sector as it becomes a more popular way to listen to music.
|What's out||What the ONS says|
Replaced by chilled pizza as spending on chilled pizza has risen above spending on the frozen alternative.
|Home killed beef, braising steak|
Removed due to low coverage since it’s unavailable in many outlets. Beef is well represented within the category and this item’s removal creates space for offal in the basket.
Replaced by a gammon/pork oven-ready joint as proposed European classification changes will require the joint to come from a specific animal.
|Yoghurt drink||Removed from an over-covered section due to falling sales.|
|White emulsion paint|
Replaced by non-white emulsion to reflect the shelf-space allocated to coloured rather than white paint.
|Satellite navigation device|
Expenditure on this item is falling due to smart phones increasingly being used for this purpose and some new cars having built-in satellite navigation devices.
|Cut flowers, lillies|
Over-covered area of the basket and flowers are still represented by the spray carnations.
|Foreign exchange commission|
The European regulations on which CPI is based specify foreign exchange costs have to be measured by the commission charged but commission is generally not charged in the UK. Additionally, people increasingly use bank cards to buy goods and services abroad, and charges for these services are included elsewhere in the basket.