Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Consumers advised to avoid spending near Chinese New Year

Smart consumers should shop early for Chinese New Year to stretch their ringgit to the maximum.

Those celebrating the occasion should pre-order their groceries and book tables at restaurant early to avoid paying exorbitant festive prices.

This will also ensure that they have a better selection at the best prices, say grocers and restaurants.

Grocers have advised consumers to make bookings for popular festive ingredients such as tiger prawns, bawal putih, sea cucumber and CNY goodies like pineapple tarts and kueh kapit, as soon as possible before prices escalate in the coming weeks.

Fresh food wholesaler Charlie Lim, 58, whose shop is in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, said his regular customers had already booked CNY delicacies like tiger prawns, imported scallops and sea cucumbers.

“My tiger prawns are usually priced about RM70 per kilo, but I am expecting prices to go up by 10% starting next week.

“I encourage people to start buying seafood now.

“If properly frozen, most seafood can keep well for up to nine months without the taste being affected,” he said.

Lim Cheng Kok, 38, who operates a seafood stall at the Taman Megah morning market, warned that the retail price for tiger prawns and bawal putih, which is RM65 and RM90 per kilo respectively, may increase by up to 30% two weeks before CNY.

He said that more than 20 regular customers have pre-ordered these items, which he keeps frozen for them to collect later.

When met at the same market, pork seller Chok Tong Chai, 60, said many customers have pre-ordered pork belly and trotters.

Meanwhile, Oriental Group of Restaurants director Justin C.K. Hor said that about 80% of tables in their restaurants have been taken up for CNY reunion dinners.

“Some people book as early as three months in advance,” he said, adding that a new yee sang dish that includes ikan bilis and soft-shelled crab was on the menu this year.


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