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Spotify, Craft Beer And E-Cigarettes Are Now Being Used To Measure UK Inflation

The changes reflect Britain's shopping habits.

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Spotify and craft beer have been added to the shopping basket used to measure UK inflation.

The Office for National Statistics updates its list of more than 700 items every year to keep pace with changing shopping habits.

It's crucial the basket reflects what Brits are buying because it underpins the consumer price index, which is used to measure UK inflation.

Craft beers made in micro-breweries have now been added to the list, along with electronic cigarettes. Music streaming services, such as Spotify, headphones and games console subscriptions, including Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus, have also been included.

But sat nav devices have been removed, partly because many drivers now use their smartphones. On the food side, frozen pizza has been swapped for the chilled version. Melon and sweet potato are now considered so popular that they've made the list.

The yearly update is a fascinating snapshot of British buying habits.

Here are some of the items included in 1947, according to the ONS:

Unskinned wild rabbit, lard, condensed milk, men's ready-made three-piece worsted suit, wool felt hat or cap, back-lacing corset, candles, iron bedstead, gramophone record, tin kettle.

That had changed quite a bit by 1997:

Burgers, fromage frais, alcopops, men's tracksuit bottoms, leggings, condoms, portable CD player, satellite and cable tv subscriptions, Eurotunnel fares.

Now in 2015, some 13 items have been added and eight removed from last year's list.

Here's what's in:

Chilled pizza, liver, oven-ready joint of gammon/pork, melon, sweet potato, protein powder, bottled speciality beer/ale, electronic cigarette refills/liquid, non-white emulsion paint, mobile phone accessories, headphones, games consoles online subscription services, music streaming subscription services.

And these are out:

Frozen pizza, home killed beef/braising steak, oven-ready joint, yoghurt drink, white emulsion paint, satellite navigation device, cut flowers/lilies, foreign exchange commission.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at

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