RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

NTUC FairPrice vs. Sheng Siong: which is cheaper?

A recent survey looked at which supermarkets offered the best deals, and the results may surprise you.

Maybank Kim Eng Securities, which is the brokerage arm of one of Singapore’s largest banks, surveyed supermarket products amongst Singapore’s biggest players and found which stores provide customers the best bang for their buck.

They wanted to find out which stores really offered the best value, and surprisingly found that different chains were stronger in certain categories, with no one chain being cheapest in all.

So, what lengths did they go to check out which supermarkets offered best value to hardworking Singaporeans, and which is more worthy of your dollar?

To find out, Maybank Kim Eng’s Sze Jia Min and her team made trips to four supermarkets (Sheng Siong at Junction 9, Cold Storage and NTUC FairPrice at Northpoint City, Giant Hypermarket at Sembawang Shopping Centre) on 24 March 2019 to check out the prices.

The survey showed that whilst there were cost savings of at least 8% if customers switched to buying housebrands than branded products at the same store, they could save more by shopping at Dairy Farm International’s brands Giant and Cold Storage, and RedMart. This is because they have housebrands for the essential item body wash which was cheaper by 63.9% and 42.2% respectively. Excluding the body wash item, FairPrice had the greatest cost savings and is 2.6% cheaper than Sheng Siong’s basket.

Meanwhile, Sheng Siong offered the best deals for fresh produce, with their goods found to be 0.3%-10.8% cheaper than its peers. For non-fresh items (excluding body wash), RedMart led in cost savings but FairPrice had the cheapest basket, offering the most attractive value in essential items such as instant noodles, liquid detergent and toilet rolls.

So which is the cheapest in each category, and how do they compare?

Housebrands: And the winner is … FairPrice.

FairPrice sells a standard basket of housebrand alternatives picked by Maybank Kim Eng for a total of $74.54 compared to RedMart’s $80.21 price tag. The next best deal for housebrands can be found at Sheng Siong, with a receipt totalling an estimated $77.50.

Fresh items: And the winner is … Sheng Siong.

Customers with a basket consisting of only fresh items could save 11.2% if they switched from buying their fresh produce at RedMart to Sheng Siong, based on the Maybank Kim Eng basket. This translates to an estimated $600 in savings per year, based on a monthly $500 shopping budget. Following closely with the next bang for your buck is Giant with a bill amounting to $27.97.

Non-fresh products: And the winner is … FairPrice.

Shopping at FairPrice for non-fresh items may save customers 7.3% compared to Cold Storage as a basket of non-fresh goods (excluding body wash) would total $46.34. Buying from Cold Storage could rack up a bill of $49.83, followed by Sheng Shiong with a $49.64 total.

The overall finding of the survey is that in a basket of items representative of most consumers’ frequent purchases, the price difference between the top two market leaders is indiscernible. However for Singaporean customers who really want to find the best deals, it pays to shop around, going to Sheng Siong for your fresh produce needs and FairPrice for your non-branded groceries. 

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