Rosé wine's growing popularity in the UK has seen it join the list of items tracked by the country's Office of National Statistics as a way of measuring price inflation.

Rosé wine was one of several items added to the Office of National Statistics' (ONS) 'typical' shopping basket yesterday (23 March). It means rose sales will be tracked for at least 12 months, to help the ONS measure inflation.

ONS figures released this morning (24 March) show that consumer price inflation rose from 3% in January to 3.2% last month. Retail price inflation for February stood at 0%, surprising several analysts, who had expected the retail price index to turn negative as recession grips the UK.

Soft drinks, particularly juice and mineral water, were one of the main drivers of consumer price inflation in February, the ONS said.

The addition of rosé wine to the ONS shopping basket for the next year is official recognition for the category's explosion onto the UK market.

Rosé wine consumption in the UK increased by 64% between 2003 and 2007, compared to a 13% rise for red and a 5% rise for white, according to figures released by Vinexpo in January. Vinexpo, which organises the world's largest wine fair, teamed up with IWSR to produce data on the global wine market.

Rosé wine sales by volume are set to grow by a further 48% in the UK between 2008 and 2012, Vinexpo predicted. In contrast, red wine consumption is expected to drop by 4.5% during the same period.

E&J Gallo Winery claims to control 18% of the UK rosé market via its Gallo Family Vineyards range. Gallo's off-trade rosé sales grew by 13.5% in the UK in 2008, the California-based group said in February.