Anyone shopping for a tin of powdered skimmed milk, pipe tobacco, a shower curtain and a set of darts is deemed naff by the government. In its annual review of the "basket" of goods and services used to calculate the monthly rate at which prices are rising, the Office of National Statistics has chucked out a range of products. The snapshot of the nation using groceries was first assembled in 1947 and has evolved to contain more leisure and entertainment products, such as DVD players and disposable cameras this year. Now, instead of canned salmon, loose tea, stock cubes and red potatoes, British shoppers are deemed much more likely to be picking up processed sliced cheese, ethnic takeaway meals and frozen prawns. So all those pipe-smoking, Oxo-mums will be furtively buying their loose tea in secret from now on. {{COUNTERPOINT }}

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