Prices of 13 Popular Seafood & Vegetable Items Will Not Increase in FairPrice Outlets During CNY Period

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Singapore is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world.

In 2022, it clinched the title of “most expensive city” to live in for the eighth time in a decade, tied only with the USA’s New York.

As the cost of living increases, here is some good news. 

The prices of 13 popular seafood and vegetable items sold at FairPrice outlets islandwide will be frozen from 18 January to 14 February.

Prices of 13 Seafood and Vegetable Items Frozen Through Chinese New Year Period

The FairPrice Group (FPG) made the announcement on 18 January.

The seafood items include Chinese pomfret, red grouper and brown shrimp.

The vegetable items with frozen prices include nai bai and shiitake mushrooms.

According to the Facebook post announcing the news, the price freeze on popular seafood items affects FairPrice supermarkets with fish beds.

However, the price freeze on selected vegetable items will be available at all FairPrice stores.

There’s a reason behind the locked prices.

Mr Andy Chang, director of fresh and frozen products at FPG, explained, “Seafood and vegetables are among the categories that are most impacted by the price increases during Chinese New Year (CNY).”

Mr Vipul Chawla, group chief executive of FPG, said, “CNY holds immense significance for customers across Singapore, and we are mindful of the challenges that families may be facing.

“Higher demand for produce like seafood and vegetables during the festive period inevitably drives prices up, and our prize freeze is aimed at helping customers alleviate this pressure.”

Why FPG Pegs Prices of Products Against Those of Wet Markets

Mr Chang noted that prices of products at FairPrice are pegged against similar items sold at wet markets because, “historically”, the group has realised that these categories of products “see the largest spike and price fluctuations”.

He added, “We thought it would be a good time for us to make sure we are competitive in terms of pricing.”

According to price benchmarking exercises conducted by FPG from 12 January, prices of popular fresh produce sold at wet markets have increased by an average of 35%.

This is in comparison to similar products sold at FairPrice.

This isn’t the first time FPG has conducted a price freeze on its products.

In 2023, the group instituted a price freeze for fish and seafood during the CNY period. 

This year, selected vegetables were added to the list based on customer feedback.

I guess you can say that FairPrice is living up to the “fair price” in its name.

What Customers Had to Say

Some netizens were in disbelief over the news.

On FPG’s Facebook post announcing the price freeze, one netizen commented, “Is this real?”

Image: Facebook (@NTUC FairPrice)

With the rising cost of living (and 9% GST), many have felt the heartache of their emptier-than-usual wallets during CNY.

Speaking to The Straits Times, 64-year-old Madam Ong Eng Keow, who frequents supermarkets near her home instead of the wet market, noted that wet markets tend to increase the price of popular items yearly.

She added that price increases are especially prevalent during CNY.

Other FPG Initiatives to Ease Struggles with Rising Cost of Living

On 17 January, FPG announced that it would continue to give out $8 return vouchers for every $80 worth of Community Development Council (CDC) supermarket vouchers used in a single transaction at its outlets for another week.

Thus, the promotion now ends on 24 January.

In a press release, FPG explained that the promotion had been extended to benefit more customers.

The 2024 CDC Vouchers Scheme was launched on 3 January, providing each Singaporean household with $500 in vouchers.

The initiative is estimated to benefit 1,270,000 Singaporean households.

In November 2023, FPG announced that its FairPrice outlets would absorb the 1% GST hike for some daily essentials for the first half of 2024.

The group explained that this initiative aimed to ease the tax hike’s impact on customers.

The scheme offsets the GST increase on 500 essential items, including rice, fresh fruit, vegetables, and toilet paper.

It added that the move would “assist Singaporeans during these times of stubborn inflation resulting in an unprecedented rise in the cost of living”.

As part of its efforts to engage the community, NTUC FairPrice announced the sale of $18 Care Packs at its upcoming block party.

The post read, “Celebrate #ChineseNewYear with a purpose! Supported by FairPrice Foundation, FPG is on a mission to positively impact the lives of 4,000 seniors across 20 charity organisations.”

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