09:07 24 March 2009
The Office for National Statistics have revealed that the nation is turning to Rose wine, hot cooked chicken and parmesan while typically British commodities such as boxes of wine and tinned cat food haven fallen out of favour.
The survey aims to monitor inflation levels by uncovering the changes in the average shopping basket as consumers adapt to the changing financial climate.
Other popular items on today's household shopping list are hot, freshly prepared supermarket food, online DVD subscription services and double cream as the nation's tastes have become more refined.
MP3 players also left (only to be replaced by MP4 players) as did wine boxes and DVD rentals from shops. Cheese tastes went a little more exotic as cheddar was switched for parmesan.
However Phil Gooding, the statistician in charge of compiling the list, denied that the Office for National Statistics was painting the nation's tastes as entirely middle class.
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He affirmed that bread, milk, petrol, school uniforms, and gas bills were constants that never changed, and cheap staples such as cheese spread, frozen chicken nuggets and canned meats all appeared on the official list.
The notional shopping basket, made up of 650 goods and services, forms the basis for the Retail Price Index (RPI).
The index is set to turn negative for the first time in almost half a century as City economists forecast the headline annual inflation rate as falling from 0.1% in January to between minus 0.6-0.8%. The figure has not been negative since 1960.
Falling utility prices, after 2008's sharp rises, and the impact of falling mortgage interest payments are deemed partially responsible for the shift in spending.
The Office of National Statistics revises its goods list each year, taking advice from retail analysts and focus groups as well as inspecting trade figures.
Seen more as an average guide than an essential checklist, hot cooked chicken has been added to the list to represent the increasing market for hot take away food, freshly prepared in supermarkets, it said.
The inclusion of rosé wine follows a boom in sales to young women in the 25-45-year-old age bracket.
In a turbulent decade for alcohol, sales of the pink wine rose from 114 million in 2002, less than 3% of the wine market, to 200 million in 2005, nearly 7% of the wine market.
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Further down the line, the 1970s saw yoghurt, duvets and dried mashed potato added to the official list at the expense of hake, prunes and overalls.
Since 2000, muffins, smoothies and chicken nuggets have come into fashion while disposable razors, 35mm film, slippers and gin have slipped away.
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