TL;DR – The freeze is for 100 housebrand daily essentials.
You might have read FairPrices’s announcement that it will hold the prices of 100 housebrand daily essentials with immediate effect until 30 June 2020.
In addition to that, FairPrice will further reduce prices for more than 50 housebrand daily essentials to ensure that all 100 of the selected housebrand daily essentials are priced at least 20% lower than comparable leading brands.
If that is the case, then we should expect that there won’t be any increases of prices for FairPrice housebrand items, right? Then why is there this reader’s letter in Zaobao saying that the price of FairPrice’s housebrand red rice (unpolished) went up from $6.10 to $8.95?
Is that true?
Prices frozen for ESSENTIALS
It is. The price of FairPrice’s housebrand red rice did increase. But wait. That doesn’t contradict FairPrice’s earlier announcement. That’s because the red unpolished rice is not part of the price freeze on the 100 housebrand products.
The 100 housebrand products comprise popular daily essentials that average households in Singapore commonly buy.
For the rice category, the two rice products on the list include FairPrice Jasmine Fragrant Rice and FairPrice Golden Royal Dragon White Fragrant Rice.
Specialty types of rice, like red unpolished rice mentioned by the Zaobao reader, which are less common are not part of the list.
Prices of some items may still increase
Having said that, FairPrice didn’t raise the price of their housebrand red rice just because they can.
You see, food prices are often subjected to fluctuations due to market factors such as weather conditions, demand and supply, and socio-economic conditions. The price of red unpolished rice from Thailand have been increasing gradually across all retailers due to global market condition.
FairPrice has held down the price for the FairPrice Housebrand Thai Red Rice for as long as they could, and only raised the price of the housbrand red rice recently when they could no longer hold down the price anymore. Hence the price increase.
But even with the price increase, FairPrice’s housebrand red rice is still cheaper than other brands of red rice, which costs between $9.10 and $10.
And NTUC also has alternatives to red rice that are more affordable.
A 2.5kg pack of FairPrice’s brown rice costs $6.10. Like red rice, brown rice has lower Glycaemic Index (GI) value when compared to white rice, and can help to prevent diabetes.
You can still stretch your dollar at FairPrice
So… yes, the price of FairPrice’s housebrand red rice is indeed now higher than in the last. But do not panic. You can still get popular daily essentials at FairPrice at an affordable price.