Baking trays added to inflation basket as Great British Bake Off boosts sales

  • Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

Britain's changing shopping habits, and love of cake, mean baking trays have been added to a list of everyday items used to calculate the UK's cost of living.

The popularity of TV cooking shows like the Great British Bake Off has been attributed to the increase in sales of kitchen equipment.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says smart speakers have also been included in the goods and services basket, reflecting devices like Amazon's Echo and Google Home devices appearing in more homes.

Envelopes and Hi-Fis have all been removed from the list of goods as modern technology revolutionises the way we communicate and consume media.

Phil Gooding, senior statistician at the ONS, believes the alterations reflect changing lifestyles.

"This year, there are changes relating to technology, the home, and how we contact one another," he said.

The items removed and added to the list of goods said to reflect Britain's spending habits. Credit: PA Graphics

"The introduction of smart speakers is one example of a relatively new product entering the basket.

"The addition of bakeware is, on the other hand, a nod to the resurgence of an item that has been in our lives for generations, but has seen its appeal renewed."

But the traditional pairing of tea and cake could be changing, with an increasing number of Britons swapping English Breakfast for a herbal brew.

Flavoured tea has been added to the coffee and tea category, reflecting both higher expenditure and more shelf space in shops.

The humble cup of tea is becoming less popular, with Britons favouring flavoured teas instead. Credit: PA

Its increased popularity is another sign of a shift towards health and well-being in consumer habits, following the ONS’ decision last year to scrap pork pies from the index and add in women’s leggings.

Other additions to the list include popcorn and peanut butter, both chosen to widen the range of foods included in the basket.

The inclusion of peanut butter will also offset the importance of margarine in the oils and fats category, given the item’s recent price volatility.

Monitoring of cola drinks has been split in two, reflecting the newly-introduced sugar tax. Credit: PA

The ONS has also split its monitoring of cola drinks into two, watching the prices of both regular and sugar-free versions to measure the impact of the sugar tax on sweet items.

Other items added include dinner plates, replacing crockery sets in a bid to reflect the changing way Britons buy kitchen essentials.

Similarly, the three-piece, non-leather furniture suite has been supplanted by a single non-leather settee as more buyers opt for standalone pieces.

Meanwhile, washing powder has lost its place on the list, along with dry dog food which has made way for dog treats.