Is nothing safe from the march of the hipsters? Non-dairy milk, gin and cycle helmets added to the inflation shopping basket

The Office of National Statisticss latest basket of goods and services includes some new items. P

The Office of National Statisticss latest basket of goods and services includes some new items. Picture: Jupiterimages - Credit: www.jupiterimages.com

Members of the hipster sub-culture may arch an eyebrow in recognition at some of the additions to Office of National Statistics's (ONS) latest 'basket of goods and services'.

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Some items associated with hipsters - such as non-dairy milk, gin and cycle helmets, have been added to the inflation basket in recognition of their rising popularity.

But Stefan Gurney, executive director of business group Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), said today's hot items could go the way of the perm and the shell suit and quickly lose popularity with the public.

Mr Gurney said the basket was an interesting way of gauging consumer trends, which could go in and out of favour as quickly as new terms in the English language.

He said: 'Consumer trends follow a similar pattern to words and phrases in the English dictionary.

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'Sometimes they're adopted into the vernacular of the country and become norms of conversation, and others drop out over time.

'You find the same thing with retail trends - some things are a brief flash in the pan, and others develop into longer-term trends.

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'You may see some of the more 'hipster' products, such as male grooming items, on that list now, but if we look back in 10 years they might be as outdated as the perm or the shell suit.

'Each generation reinvents itself.'

The ONS's basket consists of hundreds of items, and is used to determine the CPIH, a new measure used to gauge inflation.

Soya, rice and oat milk have been added basket for the first time, reflecting the increase in the popularity of dairy-free diets and campaigns such as 'Veganuary' - which urges people to follow a vegan diet in January.

Gin has returned to the basket after a 13-year absence thanks to an increase in gin consumption prompted by a growth in the number of small gin producers.

Bicycle helmets have also returned to the basket after a 12-year absence after a boost in cycling's popularity, spurred on by sporting successes by British cyclists in the Olympics and the Tour De France.

Phil Gooding, senior statistician with the ONS, said: 'The annual basket review enables us to keep up to date with all the latest trends.'

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