LETTERS: Why is Infant Formula More Expensive at NTUC Fairprice than Other Places?

JASON: With regards to your story Gahmen on Expensive Milk Powder: Feed Your Kid Cheaper Formula or just Cow’s Milk, I find it very true that infant formula prices have shot through the roof in Singapore. So much so that as parents we find it difficult bringing up 2 young children in Singapore. Then I came up on an even more shocking discovery on the Channel 8 Chinese news.

As a regular shopper at Fairprice, I was very surprised to discover that the S-26 Gold infant formula is marked up by about 10 percent more at Fairprice compared to a traditional Chinese medicinal hall. I’ve always thought NTUC Fairprice was started so that average people can have access to affordable groceries and basic products and that’s why I’m a regular shopper there. Not at those Finest outlets, but just normal Fairprice supermarkets. It’s very disheartening to know that milk powder which is a staple item for infants costs more at Fairprice than other places. Now I know that I’ve been paying more on for the same thing by shopping there.

When I went to look at whether NTUC Fairprice is supposed to be more value for money than other shops, I found out that our late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew launched the first NTUC Fairprice in Toa Payoh back in 1973 with these words:

“You will get more value for your money buying here. If this supermarket is well-supported and well managed, we shall know what the wholesale price is and what the retail price with profit can be. Then we shall have a yardstick to measure by how much other retailers are putting up prices.”

Is this still true today?

redwire singapore fairprice about
If not for the Channel 8 news feature, I wouldn’t have known this. I hope that other parents will not take it for granted that NTUC Fairprice is always the most affordable choice for basic necessities and that you should take it with a pinch of salt when Fairprice says it wants to “do good for the community”.



Thanks Jason for this letter.
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