ONS releases ‘shopping basket’ 2022 – formal suits removed, sports bras and dog collars added

The 2022 Office for National Statistics (ONS) ‘Shopping basket’ has been announced, which calculates the cost of living in the UK based on typical goods we buy. Every year it’s updated to reflect changing consumer spending habits.

This year jackets, veggie sausages and canned pulses, sports bras, craft kits, pet collars, antibacterial wipes, king-size beds and climbing sessions have been added and suits, laminate flooring, dictionaries, double beds, doughnuts and coal have fallen out of favour.

The home delivery expert ParcelHero says the ONS 2022 ‘shopping basket’ highlights just how much Covid has changed our shopping habits, and why the rise of the internet has doomed doughnuts, atlases and dictionaries.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T, comments: “The ONS shopping basket for 2022 looks at the kind of goods we are typically buying and those that are no longer in fashion. That’s used to work out consumer price inflation. Items are added and dropped every year to ensure it is always representative of what we Brits are actually spending our money on.

“The arrival of Covid and subsequent boom in online shopping has changed our shopping baskets dramatically. Here are the winners and losers for 2022:

What’s hot

“Many of us are still not returning to the office full time, and even when we have, there has been a change in the way we work. Smart jackets and blazers have taken the suit’s place on the list of typical clothing, representing a switch to less formality that looks here to stay.

“Covid is also behind the arrival of the sports bra in the basket. We have all spent more time at home recently and many women have turned to exercise to keep themselves fit.

“The addition of craft and hobby kits is another clue to how we have all spent our days. Hobby kits have been very popular over the last two years, and many people have bought sowing or Airfix kits online to pass the time.

“There has been a big rise in pet ownership during the pandemic, says the ONS, to represent this, it’s added dog and cat collars to the basket.

“We’ve all tried to wipe out the Covid virus where possible, and antibacterial surface wipes have been added to the list to represent current cleaning trends in response to the pandemic.

“Another change caused by Covid is that our preference for beds has moved from singles and doubles towards king-size as we spend more time at home together. Perhaps we’ll gloss over the potential reasons for this move to bigger beds.

“Now we’re finally emerging blinking into the sunlight again, recreational and sporting services are fast increasing in popularity, so a climbing wall session has been added to the basket. Again, this type of activity is increasingly bought online as an experience.

“Finally, meat-free sausages and canned pulses have also been placed in the basket. The ONS says there’s a switch to healthier eating that’s being driven by the younger generations as a result of growing social responsibility and health awareness. It’s good to see the ONS has its fingers on the pulse.”

What’s not

David Jinks continues: “The growth in the use of the internet has doomed atlases, dictionaries and thesauruses, as the ONS says all age groups are now looking these things up online. As a result, reference books have been removed from the basket.

“As mentioned, suits are seriously out of fashion, even after many of us have returned to the office. There has been a significant move towards less formal clothing at home and at work. Suits no longer suit us and have also been dropped.

“Laminated floor tiling has fallen from fashion as we all redo our houses, having spent so long in them. It seems Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring (LVT, introduced in the 2021 list) has replaced once super-popular laminate.

“The humble black refuse sack has also been dropped from the basket in favour of white kitchen bin liners, perhaps showing we all spent a lot of time in our kitchens during Covid.

“Coal has been a staple part of the shopping basket for decades. It’s finally gone as the Government is banning the sale of domestic coal next year.

“Finally, the growth in online shopping has done for the doughnut. Individual doughnut sales at supermarkets and bakers tumbled during the pandemic, in favour of multipacks of cakes ordered online. The demise of the doughnut will leave a hole that’s hard to fill.

Industry reaction

Emma-Lou Montgomery, Associate Director, Fidelity International, comments on the situation: “The ONS annual reshuffle of its ‘basket of goods’ often reflects a shift in buying trends. Some changes come from evolving consumer behaviour and others through necessity, like the removal of coal ahead of its ban for domestic use next year. Suits and doughnuts are out, sportswear, men’s loungewear and pet collars are in, reflecting changed work patterns and a boom in new pet owners through the pandemic.

“But what is important to remember is that it is most definitely not a one size fits all. The headline inflation rate gives an overall reading, but not all the things we put in our baskets are seeing the same rate of inflation. Some things have become a lot more expensive recently, while others not so much. And this is why it is more important to have a budget than ever before. Tracking spending across different parts of everyday life enables you to see exactly where inflation is biting and help you work with or around it.”

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