RTDs added to ONS inflation basket for first time

Ready-to-drink cocktails and gin mixers have made it into the Office for National Statistics’ UK Inflation Basket for the first time.

To show how public spending has changed over time, the ONS updates the list of goods and services included in the calculation of the cost of living each year.

A total of 16 items were added to this year’s list, including self-tanning products, gluten-free cereals, vegetable crisps, minced turkey, pre-mixed spirit drinks, and sales of gin in bars and restaurants, signalling Britain’s love affair with the juniper-laced spirt.

These replaced goods such as individual fruit pies, frozen chicken pieces and frozen imported legs of lamb.

The ONS measures inflation by calculating the prices of around 720 consumer goods from 140 locations around the UK, as well as online and on mobile phones.

Sales of gin have soared in the UK over the past 10 years as hundreds of distillers have entered a market that was once dominated by a handful of brands owned by spirits groups such as Diageo and William Grant & Sons.

Sales of gin in the UK totalled £2.5 billion in the year to June 2019. Flavoured gin, meanwhile contributed to over 80% of the growth in gin sales in UK retail in the year to July 2019. Flavoured gin now accounts for a third of overall sales.

The pre-mixed drinks category – which includes cocktails, long drinks, and flavoured alcoholic beverages – grew 5% globally in 2018, the drinks busniess’s sister publication The Spirits Business, reported in May, based on IWSR Drinks Market Analysis,

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