$72 chicken? FairPrice says viral price is right, Singapore News

SINGAPORE — A bag of Malaysian chicken sold for $72.27 by NTUC FairPrice has raised eyebrows from some shoppers and netizens here, prompting a clarification from the supermarket chain that has led to further disbelief.

A day before Malaysia’s chicken ban came into effect on Wednesday June 1, a photo of the bag of “SB Whole Chicken” bearing the FairPrice label began circulating online.

Packed May 31, what appeared to be a bird came in at 3.212kg and was on sale for $22.50 per kg, compared to the standard of around $4-5 per kg.

“Is it a turkey? asked one user in a thread on the Hardwarezone online forum. Others speculated it was a hoax, believing the photo had been doctored to stir controversy amid chicken shortages, or a scale error, which the supermarket had been blamed for. criticized in February.

But on Thursday evening, FairPrice posted a message on Facebook explaining that the package was in fact correctly labeled.

It did, however, contain “chickens” in the plural – with two whole chickens from premium butchery Swiss Butchery. Swiss Butchery operates a counter in one of FairPrice’s supermarkets.

“The product label image depicts an organic kampung chicken sold at one of our franchise counters operated by Swiss Butchery. This product is priced at $22.50/kg (based on the packaging date of the product). label on May 31, 2022), and the product label also showed product weight of over 3kg when 2 whole birds were packed together, weighed and priced under the same label,” FairPrice said in the post. .

“We hope this helps clear up any possible misunderstandings this image may have caused.”

But within hours of the post going live, rather than fixing the issue, it raised more questions.

https://www.facebook.com/thatsmyfairprice/posts/10159205825556409

As of 10:20 p.m., four hours after it was posted, it had garnered more than 1,300 likes and had been shared 492 times, far higher engagement than typical FairPrice posts.

Disgruntled netizens wanted to know why the chicken was retailing at such a high price.

“There is no misunderstanding here. We are just appalled at the $22.50/kg price of organic kampung chicken sold at NTUC Fairprice,” Facebook user Angela Lau wrote in a comment to the post. .

“Is $22.5/kg for chicken kampung okay? I know chicken kampung should be more exp (expensive) but $22.5/kg is like madness,” commented Audrey Chen.

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But there were others, like internet user Averil Chan, who were more sympathetic. She wrote, “Why do you (NTUC Fairprice) owe the public an explanation? Those who want to buy will just buy loh. Those who can’t ignore loh.”

Organic chickens are fed only organic feed, which cannot contain animal by-products, antibiotics, or genetically modified grains, or be grown using persistent pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Additionally, kampung chickens are allowed to run free, not confined to cages.

The Straits Times asked FairPrice what the price of the same chicken was before Malaysia’s export ban, which came into force on Thursday and caused chicken prices to rise here.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

Richard L. Militello