Quiche and leggings in, pork pies and edam cheese out - changes to how UK inflation is calculated
Women's exercise leggings and action cameras such as GoPros have been added to the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation in the UK.
Also added to the 2018 "shopping basket" used to measure inflation are raspberries, quiche and pre-prepared mashed potato (some 30 years after its ancestor, dried instant mashed potato, left).
Pork pies and edam cheese are among those items to be kicked out this year, reflecting a change in consumer habits.
However, 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.
The Office for National Statistics, which draws up the list to use in calculating inflation, said this was to ensure its number-crunchers can collect prices for "this kind of snack" in shops where pork pies themselves are not available.
Senior 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.”
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.
Toys, soft play and nightclubs
With more and more soft play areas opening across the UK, adult-supervised soft play sessions have been introduced to the basket for the first time. Children’s sit-and-ride toys replace the child's tricycle, whose coverage has been falling reflecting its availability in shops.
The rise of the smartphone means digital camcorders no longer feature in the basket, while digital media players such as Chromecast and Apple TV have replaced digital TV recorders and receivers such as Freeview boxes. The addition of action cameras this year reflects the growing popularity of these devices.
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.
Other items added to the 2018 basket include body moisturising lotion, girls’ leggings and high chairs. Items removed include peaches and nectarines, leg waxing and ATM charges.