With Chinese New Year around the corner, many are rushing to get their hands on some bak kwa (barbecued sliced pork).
A shopper took to Reddit on Sunday (Jan 21) to share the price of bak kwa sold at a Bee Cheng Hiang outlet.
The Redditor posted a photo which showed that applewood sliced pork was retailing for $52.50 per 600g and $88 per kg.
They wrote: "To be honest, I don't know what the market rate of bak kwa during Chinese New Year has been. But wow, this sure is expensive."
According to Bee Cheng Hiang, its applewood sliced pork was made from premium pork hind leg marinated in US imported applewood.
At around same time last year, the same item was priced at $78 per kg, marking a price increase of about 13 per cent.
The Reddit post caught the attention of many online, with some agreeing that the bak kwa was overpriced.
However, some commented that they were willing to pay higher prices for premium bak kwa.
One of them commented: "The applewood bak kwa has been and was always the most premium priced bak kwa since ages ago. This bak kwa isn't new at all. It's expensive during off-season, pre-2022 and will always be expensive now."
Another netizen pointed out that the applewood sliced pork is a gourmet version of the original bak kwa, and comes with a higher price tag.
There are more affordable bak kwa sold at other chain stores such as Fragrance, other Redditors said.
A quick check on Fragrance's website showed that their signature sliced bak kwa is priced at $63 per kg.
This year, several bak kwa stores raised prices by about 10 per cent, and some had offerings that were priced at over $100 per kg, Shin Min Daily News reported on Jan 15.
At Lim Chee Guan, prices for its signature bak kwa rose from $78 last year to $80 per kg this year. Meanwhile, Fragrance was selling its signature sliced bak kwa at $66 per kg, up from $62 last year.
Premium bak kwa, such as Bee Cheng Hiang's Chilli Gourmet, was sold for $108 per kg this year, up from $98 last year. At Kim Joo Guan, the premium Iberico bak kwa also saw a price increase from $196 to $216 per kg.
A spokesperson for Lim Chee Guan told Shin Min that the prices of bak kwa are higher this year mainly due to the increase in labour costs and raw material costs.
Despite these challenges, the spokesperson added that Lim Chee Guan will try its best to absorb costs and avoid further price increases.