LONDON (Reuters) - Gin and scooters have replaced childrens’ swings and menthol cigarettes in the basket of goods that Britain uses to calculate inflation, Britain’s top statistics authority said on Tuesday, as more consumers poured money into niche tastes.
The Office for National Statistics said the moves reflected the increasing popularity of counter-culture tastes of “hipsters” who prefer more obscure tastes, such as independently produced alcohol.
Gin was added to the inflation basket after a 13-year absence following a reported increase in the number of small distilleries over recent years which boosted the popularity of the spirit, the ONS said.
“The once-parodied trappings of hipster sub-culture... appear to have become increasingly mainstream in the last few years,” the ONS said.
Non-dairy milk drinks, such as almond and soya, as well as flavored ciders and mineral waters were also introduced, while jigsaws are to be included in the new inflation basket to “represent an adult-type hobby”.
Scooters replaced children’s swings in the basket after the ONS said it was getting harder to find swings on sale in shops, especially in the winter months.
Menthol cigarettes were also removed, as were old style mobile phone handsets and the fee for stopping a cheque, a method of payment that has declined drastically in usage in recent years.
Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Hugh Lawson