Prices up among ‘noche buena’ items
Prices of several food items Filipinos put on their dining tables during Christmas are rising ahead of the holidays, with several brands of ham and fruit cocktail, among others, becoming more expensive by as much as a fifth of their price tags last year, according to the “noche buena” price guide to be released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) today.
The price guide includes 240 shelf keeping units (SKUs)—which manufacturers use to identify and track their inventory—such as ham, fruit cocktail, pasta, spaghetti sauce and queso de bola.
Hams, fruit cocktails
According to Assistant Trade Secretary Amanda Nograles, 83 SKUs in the price guide saw an increase of 1 to 5 percent, another 37 SKUs by 6 to 10 percent, and 32 others by more than 10 percent.
Nograles attributed the increases to various reasons cited by local manufacturers, such as rising costs of packaging materials, labor, electricity and distribution.
For holiday hams, more than half or 23 of the 39 SKUs saw an increase ranging from as low as P6 to as high as P12.
For instance, the price of a 500-gram CDO American ham rose to P169 from P163 last year, while the cost of a kilo of King Sue sweet ham increased to P547 from P535.
All the different brands and sizes of fruit cocktails on the list had upward price adjustments ranging from a low of P0.83 to a high of P18.05.
A 430-gram of Dole fruit cocktail went up from P63 to P63.83, while a 3-kilo Del Monte Fiesta brand in extra light syrup increased from P279.95 to P298.
Nograles said prices of cheese products increased by as much as P49, the highest among the listed items. The cheapest 160-gram cheese costs P56.50, rising to P420 for 900 grams. Prices for queso de bola range from P211.60 (300 grams) to P435 (750 grams).
The DTI does not regulate or approve prices of noche buena products, unlike essential food items and necessities as mandated by the Price Act.
As market forces dictate their pricing, the surge in demand during the Christmas holidays tends to push prices higher. INQ