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F&B Associations : Food Prices May Soon Increase By 40% – Even Keropok Lekor & Pisang Goreng Will Be Increased To RM 3

Several food and beverage (F&B) operator associations have said that food prices may go up from 1 July, with some noting that the increase could be as high as 40%. This is due to various factors, including the removal of subsidies for bottled cooking oil, increased ceiling prices for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as rising inflation.

The vice president of the Kuala Lumpur Bumiputra Traders and Hawkers Association, Datuk Muhammad Baba Kutty said that he expects food prices sold by hawkers to rise between 25% to 40%. He highlighted that food sellers had already felt the pinch when their suppliers hiked prices during previous movement control orders (MCOs).

“At the end of the day, the public will suffer because the prices of food have increased. When the hawkers buy (ingredients) at a high price, of course, they will sell the (meal) for a higher price,” Datuk Muhammad Baba remarked, adding that hawkers may also opt to reduce the size of food portions as an alternative.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president, Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan noted that food prices have already increased slightly, with further increases expected this month. He also said that he had requested for Presma members to maintain the old food prices, but they are unable to do so as overhead costs have also shot up.

“Normally, the price of certain raw materials will only increase once or twice every year. But this time, it is unusual. Flour, condensed and evaporated milk, Milo and Nescafe prices, have increased three times. Not to mention chicken price also increased many times,” Datuk Jawahar Ali further said, adding that Presma members will try to keep the increase to RM0.10 or RM0.20.

Additionally, the Presma president urged the government to continue subsidising essential items. This is as the people are still recovering from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president, Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan noted that food prices have already increased slightly, with further increases expected this month. He also said that he had requested for Presma members to maintain the old food prices, but they are unable to do so as overhead costs have also shot up.

“Normally, the price of certain raw materials will only increase once or twice every year. But this time, it is unusual. Flour, condensed and evaporated milk, Milo and Nescafe prices, have increased three times. Not to mention chicken price also increased many times,” Datuk Jawahar Ali further said, adding that Presma members will try to keep the increase to RM0.10 or RM0.20.

Additionally, the Presma president urged the government to continue subsidising essential items. This is as the people are still recovering from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pisang goreng, keropok lekor now more expensive after cooking oil price hike

Several food hawkers selling some of Malaysians’ favourite snacks – such as pisang goreng, keropok lekor, and fried chicken – have had to mark up the prices of their wares by RM0.50 to RM1.00. This is as they struggle with the rising cost of the ingredients.

Owner of pisang goreng and keropok lekor stall in Pantai Dalam, Zumara Zakaria said that he has had to raise the prices of the snacks to cope with the increased price of cooking oil. He explained that this is because the 5kg oil he uses for his business is now priced at RM42.50.

“I was astonished as I use bottled cooking oil at my stall. I have to continue using the same brand and have to dig deeper into my pockets,” he stated, adding that he now has to sell his pisang goreng at RM3.00 for five pieces, as compared to RM2.00 previously. Meanwhile, his keropok lekor is now sold at RM2.00 for five pieces instead of RM1.00 for three.

The domino effect stemming from the surge in the cost of ingredients such chili and cooking oil has forced food traders to raise the prices of snacks such as pisang goreng, keropok lekor and fried chicken to stay afloat.

A check by the New Straits Times at several stalls in Pantai Dalam here and Kajang found that people now have to pay between 50 sen and RM1 more to enjoy the snacks, a decision traders said was made with great reluctance.

Zumara Zakaria, who owns the “Otaiii Goreng Pisang” stall in Jalan Pantai Permai in Pantai Dalam, said he has to set a higher price for his signature pisang goreng as well as keropok lekor following the rise in cooking oil prices.

The 54-year-old, who has been operating his stall for eight years, said he was dumbfounded at the drastic rise of up to RM42.50 for the 5kg oil he uses, describing it as the worst he has ever seen.

“Then there is the cost of the Johor-style sambal kicap I have to factor in. The price of chilies have gone up by RM10 a kilogramme to RM30. It used to be RM20 a kilogramme.”

Zumara said he is thankful that he still has a steady flow of customers who do not mind the new prices.

“I show them the bottled cooking oil whenever there are questions on the higher prices. I have to be clear with them. If they feel they cannot afford it, I can give them the pisang goreng for free.

“Even the price of plastic packaging has gone up. The three times I have gone to stock up, there were different prices.”

In the worst-case scenario, Zumara said he may use the 1kg polybag cooking oil but the main problem is its scarcity at supermarkets and grocery shops.

“The shelves are bare. I cannot wait for them to stock up. My business has to go on. Otherwise, I cannot survive and my business will fold. I have a family to feed,” he said.

Echoing Zumara was “Alan Crispy Fried Chicken” owner Nurul Huda Aras Hasan, who said her customers at her food truck in Kajang have to pay 50 sen more for a piece of jumbo-sized fried chicken as well as chicken sausages.

The 42-year-old said the new prices, which are set at RM9 and RM4, respectively, are unavoidable as the cost of chicken and cooking oil has gone up alongside the seasoning, cheese sauces, skewers and plastic packaging.

She lamented that a packet of skewers has gone up by 20 sen but its quantity has been reduced, while the price of cheese sauces has also increased.

Nurul Huda feels it is reasonable to raise her prices by 50 sen, adding that prices at other places are even higher.

“I need to take care of my customers, too. Raising it by RM1 is too much. I feel 50 sen is all right, but even that was questioned.

“After explaining that everything has gone up, they understand and come back again. They just want to know. If we are honest, I am sure they will continue to support my business.

“So far, my business is okay. It has gone down a little but it is still manageable. To save cost, I survey various supermarkets before buying the ingredients.

“If there is somewhere I can save even 20 sen, I will go there as I do bulk purchases,” she said.

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