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Small Data: Changes in the basket of items measuring inflation, 2004-2014

Updated Tuesday, 17th June 2014
Each year, the Office of National Statistics tweaks the contents of the baskets used to track inflation. What gets added or dropped tells how our tastes and habits change as a nation.

This page was published over 8 years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see how we deal with older content.

The ONS reviews the content of a national "shopping basket" every year. (It's this typical basket of items which underpins the various inflation rates used by government and other bodies.) Sometimes things fall out the baskets because they've fallen out of fashion - goodbye, slippers. Sometimes, as items become more popular, items get refined - hence, any-old type of large eggs are discarded and free-range eggs come in. Objects appear and then, a year or two later, fall out - Freeview boxes had a brief moment in the sun, for example. Flavoured milk was asked to leave, and then invited back.

A rummage through the items shows a nation which has started to turn down pudding in the staff canteen, and briefly embraced champagne on nights out. You can see the influence of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen as MDF takes its place in the nation's DIY projects. Remember when everyone was downloading ringtones? The ONS noticed, adjusted; realised we'd grown tired of the Crazy Frog and readjusted.

These are the items which have been taken out, and put into, the basket since 2004:

  Items added Items removed
  Lamb mince  
  Fresh turkey steaks Frozen turkey
  Regional cheese Cheese slices
  Men's sports sweatshirt Child's fleece jacket
  Shower unit  
    Wine glass
  Fabric conditioner Washing machine liquid
  Dishwasher tablets Dishwasher powder
  Kitchen roll  
    Minidisc player
  Digital camera  
    PC printer
  CDs purchased over the internet  
  Acoustic guitar  
  Infants' activity toy  
  Fishing rod Exercise bike
  Men's football boots  
    Local newspaper
  Bottled mineral water (in a restaurant)  
  Basic manicure  
  Bank charges  
  Frozen chicken nuggets  
  Pre-packaged vegetables  
    French stick/baguette
    Tinned corned beef
    Powdered baby formula
  Cigarettes purchased from vending machines  
  Infants' trousers Infants' dungarees
  Carpenters' fees
Local authority repair and maintainence charges
    Children's school shirt
    Children's shorts
    Children's slippers
    Cycle helmet
  Wooden patio set Plastic patio set
  Leather settee Upholstered settee
  Frying pan Mug
    Food processor
  Gardeners' fees  
    Smoke alarm
  Private surgery fees  
  Private chiropractors' fees  
  Mobile phone handsets  
  Small pet e.g. hamster Single serve cat food
  Wrapping paper Writing paper
  Laptop computers  
  DVDs purchased over the internet  
    Analogue camcorder
    Child's electric toy
  Gas barbecue Dumbbells
    Liquid plant fertiliser
  Admission to live music events and concerts  
  Fruit juice  
  Cinema popcorn  
  Canned drink in a staff restaurant  
  Sandwich in a staff restaurant  
  Champagne in e.g. a bar  
  One night in a hotel room  
  Razor cartridge blades Disposable razors
  Gemstone ring Gold bangle
  Trolley case luggage Sports bag/ holdall
  In care home care assistants' fees  
  ATM charges  
  Self-storage fees  
  Home delivery charges  
  Solicitors' fees  
  Frozen chicken breasts Frozen boneless chicken thighs
  Chicken kiev  
    Frozen roasting chicken
    Sliced salami
    Small brown sliced loaf
    Chocolate-coated biscuits
    Frozen cake or gateau
    Home-killed mince lamb
    Flavoured milk
    Hot milk drink
    Multipack of pure orange juice
70-75cl bottle of champagne for home consumption
Imported sparkling wine
  3 litre wine box  
  20 mentholated cigarettes Specific brand of cigarette
  Men's three-quarter length casual coat Mens three-quarter length coat
  Women's three-quarter length casual coat Women's overcoat
  Girl's trousers Girl's dress
    Baseball cap
    Adult's slippers
    Child's sandals
  Steel/Zinc plated screws  
  Home office desk Bedside cabinet
    Dining room table
    Grass/edge strimmer
  Nanny fees  
  10 sachets of cold/flu drink powder  
    Contact lens solution
  Exhaust fitting in 'fast fit' auto centre  
  Brake fitting in 'fast fix' auto centre  
  Personal MP3 player Personal CD player
  Flat panel television  
  Digital camcorder  
  Music downloads  
  Water sports equipment  
  Child's swing  
  Child's trike  
    Flea drops
    TV licence (only from CPI)
  In-store cafeteria meal  
  Bottle of lager in a nightclub  
  Liquid foundation  
  After-school club charges  
  Fees for international money transfer  
    Child's car seat
  Olive oil Vegetable oil
  Probiotic drink  
  Courgettes Pre-packed vegetables
  Brocolli Sprouts
  Catering on planes, boats and trains  
Can/bottle of fizzy drink from a vending machine
    Child's wellington boots
    Man's leather boot
    Non-designer Sunglasses
    Designer framed spectacles
  Shower head  
  Portable or free-standing fan  
  Credit card charge  
  Mortgage fees  
  Mobile downloads (e.g. ringtones)  
  Specified carat of solitaire diamond ring Gemstone cluster ring
  Satellite navigation system  
  Flat-panel television Portable CRT television
    Widescreen CRT television
  DAB radio CD Cassette player
    CD in-car autochanger
    VHS video recorder
  Pre-recorded chart DVD (not a movie) Pre-recorded VHS
  Blank DVD Blank VHS tape
  Digital processing - up to 50 photos Mail order develop and print of photos
    35mm compact film camera
    Decorative outdoor plant pot
    Digital television installation fee
  Pure fruit smoothie  
  Small-type oranges  
    Frozen vegetarian ready meal
  Muffin in a restaurant or a cafe  
  20 bottles of lager Lager stubbies
    Washable carpet
    Microwave oven
  Next-day flower bouquet Red rose delivered to Watford
    Steering lock
  Non-chart CD Top 40 CD single
  Portable digital storage device 35mm camera film
    TV repair
  Livery charges  
  Hot, whole rotisserie chicken  
    Imported lamb
  Parmesan cheese Imported cheddar cheese
  Large free range eggs Large eggs (not free range)
  Small individual yoghurt Yoghurt/fromage frais
  Fresh double cream Single cream
  Peaches / nectarines Peaches
  Meat-based chilled ready meal  
  Vegetable- or fish- based ready meal Chilled ready meal
  500-750ml bottle of cider 1-2litre bottle of cider
  Rose wine Wine box
  Hire of domestic carpet shampoo/cleaner Hire of domestic wallpaper strippers
  Hardwood flooring  
  Cat food in a pouch Cat food in a can
  Replacement of a watch battery Watch repair, cleaning & servicing
  Freeview box  
  MP4 player MP3 player
  Bluray disc  
  TV rental TV, video & DVD rental
  DVD rental internent subscription  
  Garlic bread Pitta bread
  Cereal bars  
  Frozen fish in breadcrumbs  
  Powdered baby formula Baby food
  Bottled fruit drink Carton of fruit drink
  Small bottle of still mineral water Fizzy canned drinl
  Allergy tablets  
    Men's casual training shoe
  Bluray disc players  
  Computer game with accessory (e.g guitar)  
  Electrical hair straighteners or tongs Hairdryer
  Lip gloss Lipstick
  Liquid soap Individual bars of toilet soap
Household services maintaince insurance policy
Gas call-out charge
    Gas service charge
    Eyesight test charge
    Disposable camera
    Squash court hire
  Oven-ready joint Pork shoulder joint
  Dried fruit  
  Sparkling wine  
    4 cans of lager
    Vending machine cigarettes
  Men's casual shirt long/short sleeved Men's casual shirt, long sleeved
  Women's casual blouse/shirt  
    Women's casual outer jacket
    Women's premium-branded dress
  Girl's jacket Girl's winter jacket
    Girl's summer jacket
  Women's high heeled shoes Women's party shoes
    Women's high heeled sensible shoes
  Medium density fibreboard Hardboard
  Spectacle frames with single vision lens Spectacle frames sold without lenses
  Mobile phone apps Mobile phone downloads
  Smart phone handsets  
  Flat panel TV 14-22 inch Flat panel TV 14-25 inch
  Flat panel TV 23-32 inch Flat panel TV 26-42 inch
  Flat panel TV 33 inch plus  
  Craft kit  
  Hardback book - fiction  
  Provincial newspaper Morning provincial newspaper
    Evening provincial newspaper
  Hair conditioner  
  Dating agency fees  
    Vet fees for spaying a kitten
  Hot oat cereal  
  Soft continental cheese  
  Bag of branded chocolate sweets Candy coated chocolate
  Bag of non-chocolate sweets Bag of boiled/jellied sweets
  4 cans of stout  
  Walking/hiking boot Outdoor adventure boot
    Glass casserole dish
    Step ladder
  Vehicle excise duty (added to CPI)  
  Bundled communication services Subscription to cable television
  Tablet computers  
  TV licence (added to CPI)  
  Book - teenage fiction  
  Takeaway chicken and chips  
    Annual leisure centre membership
    Develop & print 135 camera film
  Baby wipes  
Trade union and professional organisation subscriptions (added to CPI)
  Continental deli meat  
  Spreadable butter Imported butter
  Block butter Home produced butter
    Round lettuce
  Vegetable stir-fry  
  Hot chocolate drink  
  White rum for home consumption  
  Men's t-shirt sold other than in sports shops  
  Kitchen wall unit  
    Basin taps
  Daily disposable soft contact lenses, 30 pairs One pair of soft contact lenses
  Digital TV recorder/receiver Freeview box
  Electronic educational toy  
  Non-disposable charcoal barbecue Gas barbecue
  Hot or cold pub sandwich Cold filled pub sandwich
    Bottle of champagne in a pub or bar
    Pudding or dessert in a staff restaurant
    Gas service charge
    Computer game with accessory
  Flavoured milk  
  Fresh fruit snacking pot  
  Mixer drink  
  Men's clothing hire  
  Canvas fashion shoes  
  100% manmade fibre tufted carpet Tufted carpet
  80% or higher wool tufted carpet  
    Wallpaper paste
    Hardwood floor
    Gardener's fees
  Carwash, manual or automatic Automatic car wash
  Interchangeable lens digital camera  
  Plant food  
  Wild bird seed  
    DVD recorder
  DVD rental/video on demand subscription DVD rental internet subscription
    Take-away coffee
    After-school club fees
  Fashion necklace  


Items on the same line are substitutes - either directly, or where an item has been removed to make space for another item.

Source: Adapted from data from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.2.0.

For more information on how inflation is measured, and the methodology behind selecting the items in the basket of currency, visit the ONS website.


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