Grocery items in the Philippines are the least expensive compared to other Southeast Asian countries amid a marked surge in online grocery shopping in the country following strict restrictions during the pandemic period, a survey said.

Grocery shopping

iPrice Group, Southeast Asia’s leading online shopping aggregator, cited data from Numbeo, showing that grocery items in the country as they are the least expensive compared to other SEA countries’ items. iPrice collected the breakdown of average market prices in six Southease Asian countries from Numbeo.

Based on data from Numbeo, a full range of market items (from dairy to fruits and vegetables to alcohol) in the Philippines amounts to an average of P2,437. Following close behind the Philippines is Vietnam with its grocery items only 10 percent more expensive ( 2,687).

Grocery items in Malaysia and Indonesia are fairly inexpensive as well, but items like beer, wine, and cigarettes are heavily taxed, which makes these items more than twice as expensive as the same items in the Philippines.

The top two countries with the most expensive cost of living also have the most expensive grocery items. Singapore’s items are more than 2x as much as the Philippines’ items while Thailand’s are 41 percent more expensive.

In addition, iPrice survey results showed a notable surge of 89 percent in the Philippines’ top online groceries’ web traffic.

iPrice said that online groceries’ web visits in April are 78 percent more than the web visits in February, when daily COVID cases were much lower. It’s important to highlight thatthe Philippines had hit a record high of active COVID cases in April. The country also implemented another strict lockdown in certain areas during that month.

In August, as the Delta variant is spreading and daily COVID cases are breaking more records, the online grocery sites reached the highest number of web visits this year (1.4 million), increasing by 21 percent compared to the previous month and 89 percent compared to February.

The online groceries’ web traffic has maintained above 1.1 million visits from April to August since the number of daily cases has not quite gone back to the same rate in the earlier months of the year.

iPrice aggregated 11 online grocery stores available in Metro Manila and compared their websites’ delivery fees and minimum amount to order for online shoppers’ convenience.

For shoppers who just want to buy an item or two, SM Markets offers a no minimum order fee and a delivery fee of P150. Landers offers no minimum order fee as well, but their delivery fee will be based on the number of items. They also require a membership and a personal shopper fee of P99 to be paid.

Fortunately for the health freaks, RealFood and Wholesome Grocer don’t need a minimum amount to order, but they come with a delivery fee (within Metro Manila) of P150 and P160 respectively.

If shoppers go through MetroMart’s website, they can find a small P80 delivery fee and P1,000 minimum amount to order in markets like S&R, Robinsons Supermarket, and The Marketplace.

Shopwise, PureGold, and AllDay Supermarket offer the same minimum amount to order of P 1,000. However, Shopwise has one of the most expensive delivery fees recorded (P200). PureGold has a P150 delivery fee while AllDay Supermarket’s depends on the location to be delivered.

If shoppers are looking to buy in bulk, WalterMart offers a good delivery fee. With a minimum of P2,000 to order, it offers just a P99 delivery fee.

Source: Manila Bulletin (