New food items have been added to the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation. The 2018 list include raspberries, quiche and prepared mashed potato, some 30 years after dried mashed potato left.
However, pork pies and edam cheese are out. While pork pies are being removed as an individual item, they will still be covered by the wider product of a 'meat-based snack', which includes pork pies as well as, for example, sausage rolls, mini Cornish pasties and scotch eggs. This is to ensure that we can collect prices for this kind of snack in shops where pork pies themselves are not available.
The basket of goods helps measure the changing cost of products and services over time, updated annually to reflect consumer behaviour and showing the changing tastes and habits of the UK.
Nightclubs across the UK have been closing over recent years and the basket of goods reflects this. The “bottle of lager in a nightclub” follows nightclub admissions (dropped in 2016) out of the basket.
Food items removed from the basket include peaches and nectarines.
Goods also include non-food products such as women’s exercise leggings and action cameras, such as GoPros, which have been added
Commenting on the new items, senior ONS statistician, Philip Gooding said, “Every year we add new items to the basket to ensure that it reflects modern spending habits. We also update the weight each item has to ensure the overall inflation numbers reflect shoppers’ experiences of inflation.
“However, while we add and remove a number of items each year, the overall change is actually quite small. This year we changed 36 items out of a total basket of 714.”
(source: Office of National Statistics, image: pixabay)