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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 11:31 GMT
Brown ale makes way for latte
Cup of coffee
Latte coffee will be used to measure UK inflation
Takeaway latte coffees, golf green fees, shower gel and powdered diet drinks have all made it into the "basket of goods" that is used to measure UK inflation.

The Office of National Statistics said on Monday brown ale, cat litter, tinned spaghetti and vinyl flooring were on their way out "to reflect changing tastes and spending patterns."

The basket is based on a survey of consumer's spending habits and contains 650 goods and services.

Shopping basket
round lettuce
diet-aid drink powder
takeaway caffe latte
takeaway kebab
draught premium lager
air fares
designer spectacles
hair and shower gel
brown ale
men's belt
battery powered clock
electronic keyboard
lead replacement petrol
fixed telephone
laundrette charge
dry cat food

The Retail Prices Index - the main measure of UK inflation - is updated annually and is used to measure inflation.

Len Cook, the National Statistician, said: "Households appear to be changing their eating habits to cope with busy lives, changing tastes and leisure patterns."

The changes will be used in the February RPI figure, which is due out on Tuesday.

Today's fast-paced lifestyle has seen an increasing use of takeaways and convenience foods, plus the growth of coffee shop chains such as Starbucks or Cafe Nero.

Frozen fish in sauce, fixed telephone handsets, women's slips and lead replacement petrol are no longer used in the basket because consumers spend less money on these items.

Laundrette charges and women's shoe repairs are also on their way out as most people nowadays have a washing machine in their houses, while shoes are more often replaced rather than repaired.

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