Vinyl records return to ONS basket of goods

Vinyl records and air fryers are among the additions to the latest “shopping basket” used by statisticians to track prices and work out the rate of inflation.

It’s the first time in more than 30 years that the virtual basket of goods and services has included vinyl records. They were removed in 1992 after being overtaken by CDs and cassettes, but have seen a resurgence in recent years.

Meanwhile, as energy bills increased air fryers soared in popularity as an energy-saving and healthy way of cooking meals at home.

The ONS reviews the basket once a year. This year, 16 items have been added and 15 have been removed out of a total of 744 items.

Other new additions include gluten free bread, reflecting the expanding shelf space and range of gluten free products, as well as edible sunflower seeds, rice cakes and spray oils.

Hand hygiene gel was added to the basket in 2021 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, but demand has fallen so it has now been removed from the basket.

Hot rotisserie cooked chicken has been dropped as some supermarkets have stopped selling this item.

Sofa beds were also removed, with pull-out beds becoming more popular, and the ONS removed bakeware such as roasting tins because the price movements follow a similar trend to prices of frying pans, which remain in the basket.

It also decided to merge take-away tea and take-away coffee into a single item: take-away hot drinks.

ONS deputy director for prices, Matt Corder, said the inflation basket of goods offers a “fascinating snapshot” of consumer spending over the years.

“Often the basket reflects the adoption of new technology, but the return of vinyl records shows how cultural revivals can affect our spending,” he added.