I was recently reminded about how different our individual baskets will look compared to each other at our EMEA team summit, where we each submitted a photo of the inside of our fridge for others to guess who it belonged to.
As an American transplant in the UK, with a family of 5, my fridge looks very different from others. Whilst both my household and that of my athletic South-African colleague contain a large variety of fresh produce, mine is also filled with kid-friendly finger foods and hers focuses on meal-prepped healthy options.
You may have heard that the AIRINC COLA market basket is made up of 12 categories, but did you know that each category is broken down into smaller subcategories? To account for a diverse makeup of backgrounds, home and host cities, family sizes, and job levels, the AIRINC market basket for Cost-of-Living Allowances is made up 350+ goods and services. We look for multiple brands of the same product, focusing on internationally recognized and available brands and combined with local products. We also collect prices from several different outlets in each city to ensure that not only a variety of products are captured, but also to acknowledge that the same products may be priced differently across outlets.
This approach allows us to build a robust basket that captures goods and services spending patterns of the “average” assignee, capturing different spending patterns. Whilst no two households will purchase the exact same products, the basket acknowledges that many people will purchase some of the same staple products around the world. It also captures diversity in the assignee population by collecting a multitude of products to represent different geographic and cultural backgrounds. It also captures a trend in sustainable initiatives by employees themselves through capturing prices of products such as tofu, beans and lentils, dairy-free milk, and meat-alternative products.
Want to hear more on cost of living allowances? Contact us.