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25 February 2011

NTUC FairPrice freezes prices on housebrand rice for six months

Prices for other FairPrice Branded Essential Housebrand items will freeze till 31 May 2011

Amidst public concerns on inflation, NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) today announced that it will further help consumers cope with inflation by freezing the prices of 13 types of FairPrice Branded housebrand rice for six months, till end August 2011. On top of that, FairPrice will freeze prices of the rest of the FairPrice Branded housebrand items, which currently have a 5 to 10 percent discount, till 31 May 2011. These additional efforts will assure consumers that their essential grocery needs will not be impacted by inflation. This follows the earlier launch of the FairPrice "Stretch Your Dollar" programme announced on 14 February 2011.

As the largest rice importer in Singapore, FairPrice stockpiles at least three months' supply of rice in order to keep prices stable. Certain rice items such as the FairPrice White Rice has seen a 10 percent drop in price from 2009 to its current price of $6.20.

Apart from rice, prices of other essential FairPrice Housebrand items have also remained stable in the past two years. This includes daily essentials such as bread, cooking oil, full cream milk, and instant noodles.

"As a social enterprise, we are committed to keeping prices of daily essential items affordable and stable. We are able to hold prices of our housebrand products for various reasons. This includes diversified sourcing, contract farming, bulk buying, economies of scale, direct import which reduces middlemen costs and contract prices with manufacturers. We understand that consumers could be anxious about their daily needs and we want to assure them that at least in the next few months, we will not increase prices of FairPrice Branded housebrand essentials. We want our customers to have a peace of mind," said Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO (Singapore), NTUC FairPrice.

The FairPrice "Stretch Your Dollar" programme launched on 14 February 2011 includes a 5 and 10 percent discount on over 500 FairPrice Branded housebrand products till 31 May 2011. Customers who hold the Plus! Visa or NTUC Plus! Card will enjoy a 10 percent discount on FairPrice Branded housebrand essential items, while non-cardholders will enjoy a 5 percent discount. FairPrice Branded housebrand products set benchmark prices and are already at least 10 percent lower than comparable national brands. Customers can be assured that during this period, prices of the 500 FairPrice Branded housebrand items will not increase.

"Since we brought back our signature Stretch Your Dollar Programme last week, we have received very positive feedback from our customers. The Government has also applauded the timeliness of our programme. We are happy that in the first week of the programme, we estimate that our customers have saved at least $2.12 million using the 10 tips in the ‘Stretch Your Dollar' programme. We hope that more customers can make use of the 10 tips to save on their grocery bills."

The programme has also seen an increase of more than 10 percent in sales of FairPrice Branded housebrand items in the first week of the programme. Best selling items include rice, cooking oil, bread, cheese, butter, UHT milk, toilet rolls and laundry detergent.

Over the years, FairPrice has launched various initiatives to moderate the cost of living in Singapore. In 2007, FairPrice absorbed the 2% GST hike on 400 essential items from July to December 2007, at a cost of $2.8 million. From December 2007 to December 2009, FairPrice had first introduced the "Stretch Your Dollar" programme as goods and services costs soared followed by the economic downturn - customers saved over S$12 million during this two-year period.

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