This is the first time the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) had included protein powders, which it said were consumed by an increasing number of gym-goers. This was in order to represent the sports supplements market, it said. Multivitamins were already included on the list.
Chris Whitehouse, European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) director of strategy, told us the trade group welcomed the move.
“This is an excellent demonstration of the changing lifestyles in Britain, and indeed around the EU, and the expansion and growth of the sports nutrition industry. It reflects the more mainstream uses of sports nutrition products which in turn serve as evidence of their enormous benefits to many athletes.”
According to Euromonitor International, protein product sales - which goes beyond powders to include bars, ready-to-drink and other formats - amounted to £238.1m (€327m) in 2014. This was up from £105.7m (€145.1m) in 2009 and forecast to reach £409.3m (€562m) by 2019.
The list was created in 1947 and has grown from 150 goods and services to 703 today. This year 13 were added and eight removed, of which yoghurt drinks were one.
The list is changed in order to ensure the calculation consumer price inflation remained representative of the things people actually bought. The ONS said it was “an intriguing reflection of the nation’s changing culture”.
The items are updated according to things like availability throughout the year and how heavily weighted, and therefore important, a category is. For example food and non-alcoholic beverages were rated 'high' and restaurants and hotels 'low'. Protein powders were classed as a food product alongside sauces, ready meals and soup.