Price of Supermarket food

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quidsin
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Price of Supermarket food

Post by quidsin » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 8:59 pm

Why is the price of western food so expensive in singapore supermarkets ? I calculate that just above everything (except Rice and Noodles) is over double what it costs in a western country. I know that there is additional cost of importing goods but is this really 'double' the shelf price of what it costs in the Europe or the US ? The west import lots of food a well but it's not double the price of similar goods produced in the same country.

Someone elighten me please cos I'm fed up paying:

$11 for ten frozen fish fingers (GBP 2 or equiv $4.2 in the UK)
$7 for 24 weetabix (GBP 1 or equiv $2.2 in the UK)
$10 for 10 pork sausages (GBP 2.5 or equiv $5.5 in the UK)

Thx

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Post by cavalier » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 9:23 pm

The price is only partly determined by shipping cost. Also important is how much people are willing to pay. Supermarkets can increase the price for products targeted to expats because they know some of us are willing to pay a premium to have a taste of home.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 1:10 am

Aside from the Asian penchant of thinking all foreigner are fair game to rip off, the biggest reasons for the elevated costs is two things:

1) Shipping costs (as they don't sell as much as stuff from other Asian countries, they cannot fill entire containers so must pay a premium for broken shipments.

2) Rentals. Shop space is at a premium. Putting lots of western foods on the shelves is expensive, especially if they don't move the goods fast enough. Asian goods move faster naturally, so the turnover has faster rate of return per cubic foot of store space and less wastage from foodstuffs going out of date due to not enough buyers.

3) Of course, location, location, location. To be in the Expat enclaves means elevated rentals and therefore even higher prices as you are catering to the highest common denominator rather than the lowest.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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road.not.taken
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Post by road.not.taken » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 5:58 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Aside from the Asian penchant of thinking all foreigner are fair game to rip off, the biggest reasons for the elevated costs is two things:

1) Shipping costs (as they don't sell as much as stuff from other Asian countries, they cannot fill entire containers so must pay a premium for broken shipments.

2) Rentals. Shop space is at a premium. Putting lots of western foods on the shelves is expensive, especially if they don't move the goods fast enough. Asian goods move faster naturally, so the turnover has faster rate of return per cubic foot of store space and less wastage from foodstuffs going out of date due to not enough buyers.

3) Of course, location, location, location. To be in the Expat enclaves means elevated rentals and therefore even higher prices as you are catering to the highest common denominator rather than the lowest.
This is a sound argument, and I would tend to agree. There is still some unknown piece of the equation missing though that should be factored in. On recent trips to Tokyo, Bangkok, Sydney I did a little price comparison on a few US made foods (not the local equivalent) and they were all more expensive here. Each one. To expand on point #1 -- maybe Singapore's size is the problem? The economy of scale? It seems crowded (especially in the grocery store :roll: ), but as a whole the country imports items in very small quantities.

quidsin (advice you probably don't want):

stay away from imported frozen foods (the quality has almost always suffered), make our own equivalent from fresh ingredients here

go to the butcher for fresher, better sausage

break the imported breakfast cereal habit (more expensive per kg than sirloin)

western food black out dates (we go home every summer, so we stop buying strawberries, ben & jerry's, all those luxuries items a few months before we go -- so it's a real treat when we get home...)

Learn to love your local food court. My husband and I went out to a neighborhood one, which I'm sure is quite pricey and had dinner with drinks for S$20.


One good thing (?) -- prices have taken a big leap recently. It's not all in your head. :)

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Post by cbavasi » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 8:45 am

road.not.taken wrote: break the imported breakfast cereal habit
is there a support group for this? :D

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Post by JimH5 » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 9:21 am

break the imported breakfast cereal habit

Aren't there rules on this board for abusive posts?

I don't want Coco Puffs, I NEED Coco Puffs!!!

And at $10.50 per box, I will sell a kidney to make sure I GET Coco Puffs.

Though I am outraged that the island is out of Lucky Charms.

In all seriousness, I am dumbfounded at the ability of the modern world to get US-grown berries and organic milk to a Singapore market.

That just seems remarkable to me. Kudos to the Minister of Groceries.

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road.not.taken
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Post by road.not.taken » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 11:30 am

JimH5 wrote:I don't want Coco Puffs, I NEED Coco Puffs!!!
I do believe you're cuckoo for coco puffs...
Last edited by road.not.taken on Tue, 14 Apr 2009 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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durain
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Post by durain » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 12:42 pm

roti prata with chocolate spread can or not for your breakfast? :P

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Post by cbavasi » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 3:46 pm

road.not.taken wrote:
JimH5 wrote:I don't want Coco Puffs, I NEED Coco Puffs!!!
I do believe you're cuckoo for coco puffs...
haha. Now the real question is "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" :D

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Post by textex » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 4:14 pm

Here's my long kept secret...if you're a Parma ham/Prosciutto lover you'll know that it will cost you about $90/kg here in Singapore. At Carrefour when they are about to finish the leg, the last bits go for about $20.00/kilo - unshaven, I just buy the last 6 inches. Just as good! Yum!

Yeah, the imported milk, lamb, beef, cheese, wine, herbs etc will take a good chunk out of your budget

Cheers
Tex

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 4:29 pm

durain wrote:roti prata with chocolate spread can or not for your breakfast? :P
prata with nutella! Almost as good as icecream prata or cheese prata. sinfully delish! But only on crispy prata. Not the doughy oily things that Thasavi now calls prata.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by snowqueen » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 7:20 pm

I must admit, I'm struggling to wean myself of cereals and to be honest, wouldn't know what to eat other than toast.

So, I'm an expat being ripped off to get my fill of Kellogs whether it be Frosties, Corn Flakes or Krispies.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 11:29 pm

My breakfast of choice for the past 1 year plus is an omelet with tomato, cheese, fresh mushrooms & capsicum, occasionally pepper beef or ham with it Followed with a ring of Papaya & tea. Good protein breakfast and some fruit at the end of the meal so as to not cause an insulin spike and it's good till lunch as I don't get the 10am craving due to the carb/insulin spikes causing hunger/cravings. Works for me. Never was much of a cereal eater though.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Tammy138 » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 5:22 am

Do they sell egg whites over there? like in the US?

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 7:12 am

Haven't actually seen egg whites but you can buy liquid eggs in some stores. Eggs here cost around $4.50 for a tray of 30 These are only 50gram eggs not 70gram AAA's that you are used to. So they're not too expensive and if you don't want the yolks, guess you could split them yourself. A bit of a bother but I've been doing it for years, even when in the US when baking.

But don't buy your eggs in the Expat oriented Supermarkets as you will get ripped off.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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