NTUC FairPrice partners Foodfare, Kopitiam to focus on keeping food prices affordable

Seah Kian Peng (right), Group CEO of NTUC Enterprise, interacting with a hawker at the Foodfare hawker centre. (PHOTO: FairPrice Group)

SINGAPORE — With food and food services remaining the top expense of Singapore households in the last decade, NTUC Enterprise will be placing a greater focus on keeping groceries and cooked meals affordable.

It announced in a media release on Tuesday (22 October) that it has formed FairPrice Group – comprising NTUC FairPrice, NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam – to better serve Singaporeans’ evolving food-related needs.

By integrating the three social enterprises, NTUC Enterprise hopes that FairPrice Group can provide an integrated range of products and services such as groceries, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat offerings, on-premise meals and food takeaways.

“The integration of the three social enterprises will provide consumers with a comprehensive range of everyday essentials including groceries and cooked food,” said NTUC Enterprise Group CEO Seah Kian Peng.

“It seeks to put customers first, provide better value for all and make everything about food easy.”

Food takes up a quarter of average monthly household expenditure

According to the latest household expenditure survey by SingStat, food accounts for more than one quarter of the average monthly household expenditure, amounting to $1,199. This is 25 per cent more when compared with 10 years ago.

Against this background, Seah said that the three FairPrice Group entities will come together to address the cost of living more efficiently.

Currently, the group has 573 outlets in total, including supermarkets, hawker centres, foodcourts, coffee shops, pharmacies and convenience stores. These comprise 375 outlets under supermarket chain FairPrice serving an average of over 16.7 million shoppers monthly, and 198 outlets under Foodfare and Kopitiam serving 17.3 million meals each month islandwide.

Kopitiam was acquired by NTUC Enterprise earlier this year, making the latter the largest food-court operator in Singapore with 64 of them. It also manages 35 coffee shops and 12 hawker centres.

Seah noted during a media briefing at Heartbeat@Bedok that there will be “synergies” among the three FairPrice Group co-operatives. He gave the example of ready-to-eat meals and food preparation services on offer at the FairPrice Xtra hypermarket at VivoCity, which opened in August.

Initiatives, programmes to keep prices affordable

Separately, the three entities will continue to run initiatives and programmes to keep prices affordable.

For example, FairPrice has the Everyday Low Price items, patronage rebates as well as discounts for seniors and union members. It also put a price freeze on 100 housebrand products in March this year to protect shoppers from any price fluctuations. Meanwhile, Foodfare provides meals from as low as $1.50 for concession cardholders.

The FairPrice Group will also continue to adopt technology to enhance shopping and dining experiences. An omni-channel initiative, Scan-and-Go, is available at FairPrice outlets in Vivo City and Funan to allow customers to scan and pay for products through their smartphones.

Similarly, they can order and pay for their meals at a self-service kiosk or via the Facebook Messenger app at the KopiTech at Funan food court.

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