Air Fryers to Vinyl Records: How the ONS's Updated Basket of Goods Reflects Our Changing Lives

WriterDaniel Roberts

11 March 2024

Air Fryers to Vinyl Records: How the ONS's Updated Basket of Goods Reflects Our Changing Lives

Key Takeaways:

  • The ONS has updated its basket of goods for calculating consumer price inflation, adding trendy items like air fryers and vinyl records.
  • Inflation is expected to decrease, with forecasts suggesting an average of 2.2% in 2024, moving towards the Bank of England's 2% target.
  • The changes in the basket reflect shifting consumer habits towards health, wellness, and eco-conscious choices.
  • Electric cars and public charging stations were considered but ultimately not included in this year’s basket update.

Every year, the basket of goods and services that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) uses to calculate consumer price inflation gets a makeover. This year, the in-crowd includes air fryers and vinyl records, signaling not just a change in our shopping habits but also in our cultural zeitgeist. With the current inflation rate at 4%, and projections by Jeremy Hunt pointing towards a decrease, understanding these shifts becomes all the more relevant.

What's in the Basket?

This year's additions to the ONS’s basket reflect a fascinating blend of nostalgia, innovation, and a collective nod towards healthier living. From the air fryer, a pandemic favorite that promises crispy treats without the guilt, to the comeback kid of the music industry, vinyl records, it's clear that what we buy is more than a transaction; it's a statement.

Also joining the basket are items like gluten-free bread, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, rice cakes, and spray oil, echoing a broader trend of health and wellness that's taken social media—and our kitchen pantries—by storm.

Bye-Bye Hand Sanitizer, Hello Vinyl

The exit of hand sanitizer from the basket might just be the symbolic end of an era moment we all needed. Meanwhile, the re-introduction of vinyl records after more than three decades speaks volumes about the cyclical nature of consumer tastes and the enduring appeal of analog in a digital world.

Electric Dreams on Hold

Notably absent from the basket this year are electric cars and their charging stations. Despite their growing popularity, concerns over costs and practicality have hit the brakes on their inclusion. However, the ONS hints at a future where these environmentally friendly options might find their place in the basket, underlining the evolving narrative of consumer choice towards sustainability.

Inflation: A Forward Look

The narrative of inflation, with its peaks and troughs, has been akin to a rollercoaster ride. From a staggering 11.1% in October 2022 to a more manageable 4%, the trajectory seems to be heading towards normalization. The Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) forecasts post-Jeremy Hunt's Spring Budget optimistically project inflation rates to average at 2.2% in 2024, inching closer to the Bank of England's target of 2%.

A Reflection of Us

The annual update of the ONS's basket of goods offers more than just data for economists; it provides a mirror to our society, reflecting our habits, desires, and even our concerns. Whether it's the way we embrace technology, our nostalgia for the past, or our aspiration for a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle, the contents of the basket tell the story of who we are - and perhaps, who we aspire to be.

In a world where change is the only constant, the evolving basket of goods remains a steadfast indicator of the times. As we look towards a future marked by innovation and a return to simplicity, it's clear that our consumer choices will continue to define the narrative of our era.

About the author
Daniel Roberts
Daniel Roberts
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Daniel Roberts is a prominent Air Fryer Tech Expert and Reviewer, celebrated for his insightful and comprehensive reviews. With an eye for innovation and a taste for culinary excellence, Daniel's articles offer more than just reviews; they provide a guide to healthier, tastier, and more efficient cooking methods.

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