Blog: Katy AskewPineapples join CPI basket

Katy Askew | 14 March 2012

The Consumer Price Index basket of goods has been updated to include pineapples alongside teen novels and tablet computers.

The CPI basket is a list of products that the UK's National Office of Statistics monitors to keep track of changing trends in consumer inflation and the cost of living.

The basket is expanded and updated to reflect changing consumer buying patterns. So, with the sharp increase in teen novel sales - think the Twilight saga or the Chemical Garden trilogy - and the tablet computer craze that is sweeping the nation, these additions are quite self-explanatory.

But when is the last time you purchased a pineapple? Not pineapple chunks that you get in the sandwich counter of the supermarket. Not pineapple rings in a tin. An actual pineapple. I know when I did: we had a roast ham just after New Year and got a whole pineapple to slice up at the side so it would look fancy.

Not exactly an every day fruit for most people, your pineapple. Too big and cumbersome. Apples, bananas and even - if you want to get really exotic - kiwi fruit all come in nature's own single-serve portions. These are everyday fruits that fill lunch boxes and provide between-meal snacks across the country. Pineapples? Not so much.

Anyway, whether or not the move to include pineapples reflects a sudden jump in the popularity of this spiky fruit that has totally passed me by, I can't say. It wouldn't be the first time, after all. I still have no idea what "Bieber Fever" is, I learnt only today that lovers of the aforementioned Twilight are "Twihards" and I have pretty much no idea what any technological devise beginning with the letter "i" does.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the logic of including pineapples is that it is beneficial to collect as broad a range of fruit prices as possible because fruit prices vary greatly, so fair play.

Other new recruits from the world of food include some more everyday items like hot oats and continental cheese. These additions I can get fully on-board with. Perhaps I just don't have an exciting enough shopping basket. 


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