Baking trays added to UK inflation basket - and it might be thanks to The Great British Bake Off

The ONS saw a 'large increase' in spending on kitchen equipment in the last year

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 12 March 2019 15:08
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The Great British Bake Off is one of the most popular television programmes in the UK, but its impact has transcended the small screen.

As the show has increased in popularity, so have sales for baking trays, so much so that they’ve just been added to the basket of goods used to measure the UK rate of inflation, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed on Monday.

The ONS noted that it had seen a “large increase” in spending on kitchen equipment as a whole in the last year, which it said was “possibly influenced by the success of various television cookery programmes”.

The basket of goods is reviewed each year by the ONS and amendments are made to reflect the nation’s changing tastes and habits.

This year, the organisation added 16 items, including smart speakers, popcorn, children’s fiction and flavoured tea, all of which, it says, have seen a boost in sales in the last 12 months.

Among the items removed, of which there are 10, it’s goodbye to dry dog food, envelopes and crockery sets. Meanwhile, 688 items remain unchanged.

ONS senior statistician Philip Gooding said: “We want to reflect modern spending habits, and the alterations we have made highlight shifting consumer behaviour, whether that is in technology, the home, or the way we communicate with one another.

“It is important to remember that we change a small percentage of the overall basket.”

In total, the ONS measures the prices of roughly 180,000 items in 20,000 UK outlets to calculate inflation rates.

Gooding suggested that the changes this year illustrate a move away from traditional communication methods (such as letter-writing).

“The introduction of smart speakers is one example of a relatively new product entering the basket,” he added in a statement to ITV News.

“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.”

Last year, the Great British Bake Off final, which aired in October, was watched by an average of 7.5m viewers.

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