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Instant noodles, a staple budget food, fighting to increase prices

Samui Times News



Instant noodles, a staple budget food, fighting to increase prices
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There is perhaps no symbol more synonymous with living on a tight budget than dining cheap with a cup of ramen instant noodles. So it’s an extra kick for those struggling during this time of hyperinflation in Thailand and around the world that instant noodles manufacturers have requested expedited permission to raise prices on their product.

The Internal Trade Department of Thailand is being petitioned by five major noodle makers to make a decision quickly to allow them to make up for rising production expenses by increasing the price of their instant noodles from six baht to eight baht.

Big names in noodles including Mama, Nissen, YumYum, Suesat, and Wai Wai have complained that ingredients like palm oil and wheat have grown costlier while the price of instant noodles have been stagnant since 2008. Prices for ingredients such as garlic and chili have risen somewhat, but the cost of wheat has doubled due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s top exporters of the grain, and the price of palm oil has tripled.

The noodle consortium says the cost of making a pack of instant noodles has already gone up more than 1 baht per packet, so a proposed compromise of a single baht increase just won’t cut it. One brand, YumYum, says that this year is the first time in their 40 years as a business that they were losing money.

The director-general of the Internal Trade Department said that while a previous request was rejected, they are not blind to the plight of the manufacturers. But they say the department is stuck in the middle of struggling corporations and struggling shoppers, and they have leant towards freezing prices to try to prevent people being unable to afford to eat.

The department will weigh each request for a price increase on the factors of whether a manufacturer can sustain their production without the increase, and how to ensure that customers are as minimally affected as possible, and will do so on a case by case basis.

Instant noodle manufacturers have hinted that if they are unable to increase prices to cover their swelling manufacturing costs, they will shift their focus to exporting their products to countries that don’t put any caps on pricing.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


Courtesy ofThaiger News

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