PHUKET: Produce shoppers did not seem deterred by the 30% annual increase on fruit prices ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations, a visit today to one of the Phuket’s main fresh markets revealed.
Meanwhile, no significant annual change was observed in the price of most vegetables and two staple meats – chicken and pork.
Earlier today, the Gazette visited the busy Kaset Market in Phuket Town, which was packed with ethnic-Chinese Phuket residents preparing for ancestor veneration rites tomorrow, January 30.
One meat vendor “Ms Chan” told the Gazette: “We sell our meat at the normal price, it might have increased slightly from last year (click here for last year’s story), but has not been marked up for Chinese New Year. We don’t want to increase the price based on high demand as we really understand the consumers’ needs.”
Indeed, Ms Chan’s prices were consistent with other vendors: raw imported chicken for 75 baht/kg; local chicken 140baht/kg; pork 140 baht/kg; shredded pork 160 baht/kg; boiled chicken 180 baht/piece; steamed chicken 280 baht/piece; duck stewed in gravy 450 baht/piece and pork head stewed in gravy for 500 baht/piece.
Another cooked-meat vendor, “Mr Dum”, concurred that this year is business as usual: “The number of people who have put in orders for cooked chicken and pork for the veneration ceremony is the same as last year, or about 500-600 pieces, which we will deliver tomorrow (Jan 29).”
“Our prices are the same as they were during this period last year. We don’t want to take advantage of the situation, and increase the price too much as it might affect people and the great [ancestor veneration] ceremony,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Gazette’s impromptu inspection revealed that the average increase in fruit prices was about 30% from last year; for example, grapes were up to 300 baht/kg, oranges 120 baht/kg, melons 35 baht/kg and pineapples 15-35 baht/piece.
Tesco Lotus one-stop shop for Chinese New Year
Tesco Lotus has vowed to keep its prices competitive over the Chinese New Year Period, which often seed price inflation due to high demand.
Tesco will also mark the Year of the Horse with a handbook on preparing for Chinese New Year by three famous cultural experts, as well as a new Tesco Lotus app feature that tells fortunes and gives out discount coupons.
“We aim to beat the market on both range and price this Chinese New Year,” said Tesco Lotus Marketing Director Wanna Swuddigul.
“Tesco Lotus one-stop shopping this year focuses on high quality fresh products, from fruits and vegetables to duck and chicken. A wide range of auspicious Chinese New Year veneration sets, paper offerings, festive decorations and house cleaning equipment are also available at special prices.”
These include reduced prices from last year on many Chinese New Year essentials including Chai Sing Ah offerings such as incense, An Pao envelopes and Nguan Chiang soy sauce with mushroom.
“We believe that customers will continue shopping at Tesco Lotus during this coming Chinese New Year at the same level as previous years. Although there are political uncertainties, customers will still pray for good luck and Tesco Lotus have all the products they need at prices cheaper than last year.
Moreover, Tesco Lotus is giving Clubcard points and many discount coupons so customers can be confident that they would get the best value at our stores”, added Wanna.
All 1,600 Tesco Lotus stores in Bangkok and upcountry are opening as normal with sufficient products stocked to cater for customers’ convenience.
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