If there’s one thing that all Singaporeans know, it’s that the prices of everything have been rising in recent times.
And it seems like bak kwa, everyone’s favourite Chinese New Year (CNY) snack, hasn’t been spared either.
With the CNY period just around the corner, multiple popular bak kwa brands in Singapore have decided to raise the prices of their products, which means that we should probably cut down on buy- I mean, buy more in case the prices increase further.
That aside, here’s what these brands have to say and what their customers think of the price hike.
Different Brands’ Price Hikes and Reasoning Behind Raising Prices
When speaking to The Straits Times, a representative from Lim Chee Guan, one of Singapore’s most popular bak kwa brands, explained that they increased the price of their bak kwa due to the rise in production cost.
The costs, which included raw materials, rental and manpower, caused the brand to increase their prices from $36 to $39 for 500g worth of bak kwa.
Previously, the brand charged $34 for each pack in 2021 before raising the price to $36 in January this year.
However, the representative emphasised that the company would still try their best to “absorb the rising cost as much as possible”.
As for fellow bak kwa brand Bee Cheng Hiang, it decided to increase the cost of its 500g applewood pork bak kwa packs by $1, from $38 to $39 per pack.
On the other hand, Fragrance started holding a three-day-long promotion yesterday (27 December), allowing customers to buy their signature sliced bak kwa at $48 per kilogramme (kg).
However, without the promotion, the brand also began charging more for their bak kwa as compared to the start of this year. It raised the price for its bak kwa from $60 per kg in January 2022 to $62 per kg recently.
According to a spokesperson from Fragrance, the company decided to raise the price of its products due to the increase in the cost of raw materials, rental and wages, just like Lim Chee Guan.
Customer’s Response to Price Increase
However, it seems like the rise in the price of bak kwa hasn’t deterred Singaporeans from continuing to support these brands.
In fact, many people in Singapore have already started heading down to the stores to purchase their bak kwa earlier so that they will not need to queue up for extended periods since more people buy bak kwa during dates closer to CNY.
With CNY just under a month away (22 and 23 January), one customer named Mdm Lilian Koh recounted to The Straits Times that she decided to purchase bak kwa earlier this year after having to queue up for several hours in past years.
She added that buying her bak kwa early also means that she can buy smaller packets, like 300g packs, instead of having to buy larger quantities, like 500g to 1kg packs. This is because only larger packs are available near the CNY period.
Mdm Koh, 80, purchased 2.5 kg of bak kwa and five packets of pork floss from Lim Chee Guan’s flagship store at North Bridge Road last week to share with her friends and family.
As for the price hike, she explained that she would still purchase from Lim Chee Guan as she likes the taste of their products and thinks the price hike is “reasonable” for her.
Queues Already Forming to Buy Bak Kwa for CNY
When Mdm Koh visited the Lim Chee Guan store last week, she recalled seeing around 20 people in the queue while making her purchase.
The Straits Times also reported that the queue at the same store was around 15 people long on Monday (26 December).
More Customers Buying Bak Kwa Online
And apart from purchasing bak kwa early, many consumers have also decided to buy their bak kwa online after going to the store to try out samples.
One of the people who chose to do so told The Straits Times that she decided to try out the samples as she was passing by the area and that placing a pre-order for bak kwa online is much more convenient than queueing for her purchase before CNY starts.
On Lim Chee Guan’s website, customers can place orders for up to 20kg worth of different products, such as gold coin pork, BBQ beef, BBQ chilli pork and pork floss.
However, the availability of each product depends on the day of delivery, and many items are currently sold out for the upcoming days.
Lim Chee Guan’s website also indicated that customers can select the self-collection option to collect their bak kwa at any of their three outlets (New Bridge Road, ION Orchard and Jewel) after placing their orders online. However, there are also limited slots every day.
The Bee Cheng Hiang website also allows customers to place orders for delivery. The delivery fee is $6 for orders under $80 and free of charge for orders that cost $80 and more.
Based on their website’s information, the “Gold” bak kwa product is currently sold out.
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