Wednesday, 20 May 2009
A better investment than real estate - beverages!
My suspicions have been confirmed. Drinks prices have been going up faster than the property prices during the boom. A can of Nescafe Latte coffee which used to cost $1.20 can now retail for $2.05 in less than 3 years. It's true... I paid that price in a 7-11 at Chinatown. That's a whooping 70% price increase... I guess I can forget about buying a unit at St Regis and spend S$4 million on buying crates of Nescafe instead. That should net me $2.8 million profit by 2012 since everyone needs to drink coffee to stay awake during the overtime they put in to pay for ridiculous property prices.
According to a report in Today newspaper, majority of drink stall owners do not display their price lists, and even some of those with the list are guilty of overcharging by 10-20 cents. Just last Sunday, a food court staff approached my table asking if we'd like to order drinks. That's new for a food court! I discovered the reason why when the bill came... $1.7 for a can of Coke and $1.50 for a cup of tea. Jeeeze... and they wonder why people are choosing NOT to drink during meals!
Quite frankly, I've never seen any price indices move as quickly as drinks prices. Sugar prices went up, the prices shot up. Coffee prices increased, the prices of drinks edged up again. Why... even oil prices were excuses to increase the prices as well! Everyone is also blaming the landlords for increasing the rents, which in turn caused the drinks prices to spiral out of control. While I'm not sure of the actual reasons why the drinks prices have escalated so much, the drinks sellers sure took advantage of all sorts of excuses to pump up the prices.
At the end of the day, nobody is capable or responsible for regulating the prices of beverages, which explains for the inflated prices across the months. CASE can advise the stall-owners, but I'd hardly imagine that to be effective. So consumers... vote with your money. If you think that things have gotten out of hand, DO NOT purchase the drinks. That is the most effective way of getting your message across - to the stall owners... to the landlords... to the manufacturers... whatever...