Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pricey mooncakes expected

Pricey mooncakes expected due to rise in cost of materials (The Star)
By Lee Yen Mun

Thursday, August 5

PETALING JAYA: Mooncake lovers will be dismayed to find that they will need to pay more for the sweet delicacy this coming Mid-Autumn Festival.

Manufacturers have increased the retail price of mooncakes due to the rise of the cost of raw materials, particularly lotus seed, a crucial ingredient for producing the paste filling of the cake.

One manufacturer said the price of imported lotus seeds had doubled since early this year, from RM11.50 to RM24 per kilo.

P.K. Shum, general manager of Biskut Foh San Sdn Bhd, said the price of other ingredients had gone up as well, including beans, which are used to make mooncakes.

Costly delicacy: An employee of Overseas Restaurant Lisa Lam (left) introducing the different types of mooncake to customer Cass Leong at Jalan Imbi yesterday.

Costly delicacy: An employee of Overseas Restaurant Lisa Lam (left) introducing the different types of mooncake to customer Cass Leong at Jalan Imbi yesterday.

“While the rising cost is reflected in the retail price, consumers should also know that our company has absorbed part of the increase,” he said, adding that consumers should expect to pay between RM1.50 to RM1.75 more for each cake.

Generally, a regular fist-sized cake with only lotus paste filing may cost between RM11-RM12 each while a gourmet variant, such as one with nuts and meat, may cost up to RM15 per piece.

A sales representative for KLT Food Industries Sdn Bhd (Kam Lun Tai), who identified himself as Soo, said the price hike was a chain effect from the rise in all raw ingredients in general.

Asked whether the Government’s subsidy cut for sugar and flour would affect prices, Soo said the margin was not significant enough to affect the overall price.

“What has impacted the price most is the lotus seeds,” he said.

MCA Consumer Affairs Bureau chief Lee Wei Kiat said that it had not received any complaints from customers about the price hike so far.

The Mid-Autumn Festival will fall on Sept 22.