Price freeze for popular seafood, vegetables at FairPrice through CNY period, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Price freeze for popular seafood, vegetables at FairPrice through CNY period

Prices of 13 popular seafood and vegetable items sold at NTUC FairPrice outlets islandwide will be frozen from Jan 18 through the Chinese New Year period to help consumers cope with rising costs.

Seafood items such as Chinese pomfret, red grouper, and grey prawns, as well as selected vegetables such as nai bai and shiitake mushrooms, will have their prices locked, FairPrice Group (FPG) announced on Jan 18.

“Seafood and vegetables are among the categories that are most impacted by the price increases during Chinese New Year,” noted Mr Andy Chang, director, fresh and frozen, FPG.

“Prices (at FairPrice) are being pegged against those of the wet market because historically we’ve realised that these categories see the largest spike and price fluctuations, so we thought it would be a good time for us to make sure we are competitive in terms of pricing,” said Mr Chang.

Price benchmarking exercises conducted by FPG from Jan 12 showed that prices for popular fresh produce sold at wet markets – such as Chinese pomfret and red grouper – have gone up by an average of about 35 per cent, as compared with prices at FairPrice.

The group first instituted a price freeze for fish and seafood in 2023. In 2024, selected vegetables were added to the list after feedback from customers, said Mr Chang.

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

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

Some customers have felt the pinch over the years.

“Every year wet markets increase the price, especially during Chinese New Year,” said Madam Ong Beng Keow, 64, who shops at supermarkets near her home instead of the wet market.

The part-time waitress was among customers at FairPrice’s outlet at Northpoint City in Yishun on Jan 18 stocking up on seafood to freeze, and other groceries ahead of Chinese New Year.

Feb 10 is the first day of the coming Chinese Year of the Dragon.

Madam Ong’s daughter-in-law Chai Xiu Fen, 29, who is a nurse, said: “Today we plan to get prawns, but usually for fish we prefer to get it fresh... if there really isn’t going to be a price increase, then fresh fish is better and I will buy it a few days before we’re going to cook it.”