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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 10:39 GMT
Muffins enter typical UK 'basket'
Cafe in Regent Street
Spending on muffins and smoothies reflects cafe culture says the ONS
Fruit smoothies, muffins and portable digital storage devices have all been added to a typical basket of UK goods, used to measure inflation.

Frozen vegetarian ready meals, CD singles, "stubbie" lager and 35mm camera films are to be removed, the Office for National Statistics said.

The ONS updates its 650-strong basket of goods and services annually, to better reflect public spending habits.

The basket is used to calculate the Retail Prices Index.

The ONS said the inclusion of fruit smoothies and muffins was reflective of a growing "cafe culture".

"Fruit smoothies are included as the emerging market of healthy soft drinks continues to rise in supermarkets," said the ONS.

It added that muffins were being included for the first time to reflect the fact that snacks such as croissants and cakes were being bought when customers bought coffees in cafes.

The removal of Top 40 singles from the basket reflects the fact consumers are downloading music more, said the ONS.

The prevalence of digital cameras means consumers are buying far less film, which explains why the 35mm film dropped from the basket.

In contrast, spending on portable digital storage devices has grown. This includes memory cards and storage sticks, mp3 players, mobile phones and computers.



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