We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Market Basket?

By Leo Zimmermann
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

"Market basket" is a term used in finance and marketing to describe a set of goods purchased together by a real or hypothetical consumer. It can refer to individual market baskets, in which case it describes items that are often purchased together, or to a theoretical market basket, which represents some more general fact about the economy. Market baskets are also sometimes called commodity bundles.

The study of individual market baskets is called market basket analysis, or affinity analysis. Market basket analysis takes place in marketing and retail. The goal is to collect data about what items are purchased together—in the same literal basket—in order to sell them more effectively. For example, if a company learns that two items (say, tuna fish and hot sauce) are often purchased together, they might start displaying them next to each other or offering discounts if shoppers buy both of them. Customer loyalty programs have dramatically expanded the ability of stores to collect this type of information.

Market basket analysis can be especially effective online, where items do not have to coexist in physical space. A widely cited example of effective market basket analysis is the online retailer Amazon, which suggests products that a consumer might like based on the one he or she is currently looking at. It also offers package deals for items that people tend to buy together.

Another popular example of market basket analysis, which may be completely mythical, concerns the placement of beer and diapers at the front of a supermarket on Friday evenings. Supposedly, this attracts the demographic of men instructed by their wives to go to the supermarket after work. Instead of just buying diapers, the men may wish to buy beer as well.

Economists and investors use the term "market basket" to describe a more generic set of goods. This concept can stretch beyond a literal market basket with staple purchase like milk and eggs to include expenses like rent and electricity. This tool is used to track inflation, and can be involved in a determination of real wages: how far a worker's paycheck actually goes.

The most common of these market baskets is called the basket of consumer goods. This measurement is used to calculate the Consumer Price Index, which is produced by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The creation of a truly universal market basket is difficult, and the Consumer Price Index, like other attempts to probe the complexity of the market, has limitations. For example, it assesses only costs for goods sold in urban areas.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.