Food service businesses to raise prices
By John Liu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- With electricity prices to increase this month, many well-known brands in the food service and restaurant industries have also announced price hikes for some of their products and services.
October 3, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) previously announced that electricity prices were due to increase this month as part of three stages of utility price hikes. Despite passage yesterday of a proposal to repeal the MOEA's electricity price hikes by the Legislature's Economics Committee, Economic Affairs Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) said that the planned price hikes are set to be implemented.
In response to complaints by businesses that higher utility prices would result in higher operation costs, Chang said that price hikes had little impact on most businesses and that increased utility charges would only comprise 0.11 to 0.67 percent of a firm's total operation costs, leaving merchants to raise their prices for other reasons. Merchants are obliged to disclose their cost structure if they plan to raise the prices of their products and services, Chang stated.
For well-known brands such as Shin Yeh Restaurants, I-MEI Foods and Kuang Chuan Diary, price hikes reach as high as 25 percent for some products and services. Officials from the MOEA contact businesses that raise prices based on untruthful reasons, Chang said, adding that the MOEA does not reveal which companies it contacts to avoid breaching the Personal Information Protection Act.
Inflation Behind Price Hikes
Most businesses indicated that inflation, not higher electricity prices, was the reason behind their price hikes, which were long-delayed and occurred only coincidentally with a slated increase in utility prices this month.
Prices of some ice creams made by I-MEI Foods rose as high as 25 percent. I-MEI's public relations office said that prices of some ice creams had stayed level for 5 to 15 years, and that the price hike reflected higher material and labor costs. Out of I-MEI's 2,000 products, only a few will see higher prices, and the higher electricity price was not factored in, I-MEI's public relations office stressed.