Chinese New Year demand is hampering better than previous years, but costs remain higher

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SINGAPORE: People may be tightening their belts amid inflation, but they’re not skimping on groceries this year in the run-up to Chinese New Year.

Two major stores said demand for their packs has increased compared to last year amid the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings this year.

At Joaquim Florist & Gifts, demand is up 10 to 20 percent compared to last year, and the store has put all hands on deck to process orders.

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To prepare the 300 to 500 orders per day, Mr. Chee hired 10 to 20 extra workers.

“The majority of our range is already sold out. We’ve more or less reached our goal this year,” said Mr. Kenneth Chee, the company’s general manager.

The most popular barriers are those between S$100 and S$200, he added. Seafood packages with food items that the recipients have to prepare themselves are less popular. He plans to fulfill more orders as they come in.

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Similarly, Eu Yan Sang said it is seeing “double-digit growth” compared to last year in terms of package sales.

“Now that people are more in the festive (mood) of giving, we see more people being more willing and generous to give them (packages) to business associates or even families and relatives,” said Ms. Rachel Cheng, the general manager of the traditional drug store chain.

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Basket giving is a Chinese New Year tradition, with the gifts symbolizing prosperity and good fortune for the coming year.

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