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Raspberries and mash make new ONS basket

Office for National Statistics tweaks basket to include two new fruit and veg, with peaches and nectarines dropping out

Raspberries and mash make new ONS basket

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Raspberries and mashed potato have been added to the basket of goods used to calculate inflation, in a sign of their growing importance to Brits’ diets.

The two fresh produce items are among a number of products to feature in the 2018 update of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) basket, which is used to measure the changing cost of products or services over time.

The return of mash comes some 30 years after dried mashed potato was removed from the basket, and reflects the growing role of convenience in the fresh produce aisle.

Raspberries have been added to “rebalance the sample of fruits by including more soft-fruit items with an offsetting reduction in the number of stoned fruits,” ONS explained. It said the addition would also reduce the weight of other soft fruits such as strawberries and would be expected to reduce the variability in the overall estimate of fruit price movements.

Raspberries have had a strong year from a sales perspective, with double-digit value and volume growth taking them to 13th place in the latest FPJ Big 50 Products.

Only 36 items were swapped out of a total basket of 714, with peaches and nectarines both among those to drop out. A total of 21 fruits and 25 vegetables appear in the basket, with food and non-alcoholic drinks representing a quarter of the total products.

“Every year we add new items to the basket to ensure that it reflects modern spending habits,” said ONS senior statistician Philip Gooding. “We also update the weight each item has to ensure the overall inflation numbers reflect shoppers’ experiences of inflation.”

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