Why a doughnut when you can have a collar or a suit when there are bras?
A survey of British consumers’ pandemic spending has revealed some interesting trends
Pet collars and casual clothing are replacing takeaway doughnuts and men’s two-piece suits this year as Britain’s statisticians update their inflation calculations to account for pandemic trends.
The biggest changes to the inflation basket for 2022 are around food, after people ate more at home last year and increasingly chose plant-based options.
Vegetarian sausages, canned chickpeas, beans and lentils, dried herbs and ready-made frozen Yorkshire puddings have all joined the list.
Anti-bacterial wipes are included for the first time.
The main food item leaving is the single doughnut because Britons have switched to buying multipacks of cakes and pastries to enjoy at home, rather than individual bakery items to snack on while out.
The pandemic has also affected fashion.
“With many people still working from home, demand for more formal clothing has continued to decrease,” the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Sam Beckett said.
Sports bras and crop tops have been added to reflect new spending by women on sportswear, while men’s formal two-piece suits will be replaced by jackets or blazers.
Collars for dogs and cats have been added to reflect greater pet ownership during the pandemic.
Leaving the basket are reference books such as dictionaries and road atlases, as people look up similar information online, though cookery books and travel guides remain for now.
Consumer price inflation in Britain is calculated using a basket of more than 700 goods and services. These are changed each year to try to keep up with new spending patterns.