comparison of prices of rice, bread and toilet paper from different NTUC FairPrice retail formats and the pros and cons
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Are All FairPrices Created Equal?

8 min read

I don’t know about you, but for some reason, supermarkets seem to be one of my favourite spots to kill time if I’m early to meet my friends.

Recently, my mother was complaining about how she paid a different amount for the same item when she bought them from different outlets on separate occasions.

To be specific, it was FairPrice Xtra and FairPrice Supermarket. Sounds like a familiar scenario?

Well, I didn’t believe her, so I decided to get to the bottom of this.

Disclaimer: We’re not sponsored by FairPrice, I was really curious about this. You should have seen the staff, they were all looking at me suspiciously for spending so much time in every aisle without buying anything.


TL;DR: There Is No Price Difference Between Different Outlets!

Yes, I’m serious!

I’ve spent one whole day loitering in 4 different FairPrice stores and compared the prices of 200+ items, and there’s no difference in price whether you buy it in FairPrice Finest or the regular FairPrice Supermarket!

shocked girl pausing from her drink
Source: giphy

There is a long list of comparison, so let me help highlight the juicy bits:

Since there are no real savings from going to the regular FairPrice, we looked for ways you can fully utilise FairPrice’s services.

Turns out, buying online from FairPrice On doesn’t cost you more and it can save you so much time!

Imagine you work in one-north and you need to take a detour to Bishan instead of stopping at Caldecott, then take the train back to Braddell.

Instead of spending $1.29 for your train ride, you’ll be spending $2.26 instead because of the detour, that’s $0.97 more per trip! 

And I’m sure you’ve tried shopping after work and took forever to squeeze with everybody else to find your items and wait impatiently to make payment.

If I’m buying a lot of items, sometimes I can take up to an hour, and guys, our time is priceless. 

But of course, there are some things to take into consideration when buying online. You won’t be able to accumulate your LinkPoints and your NTUC Plus! and Plus! rebates will be of a lower amount. There are also promotions that may be exclusive to certain outlets only or for FairPrice On only.


NTUC FairPrice Retail Formats

Let me backtrack a little, if all of them have been looking the same to you, NTUC FairPrice actually operates on many different retail formats. Let’s zoom in to 5 of them for this particular case.

FairPrice Supermarkets

Entrance of FairPrice Supermarket with customers
Source: The Straits Times

Well, FairPrice Supermarkets are located all over Singapore, so I assume you’re not unfamiliar with this!

This is probably the format that I end up killing time the most. sigh

These outlets encompass what a supermarket is about — a self-service one-stop retail store that offers a wide variety of food, beverages and household necessities.

FairPrice Shop

Entrance of FairPrice Shop with customers
Source: The Straits Times

Some of you might not even know about this format as they are usually located in the heartlands, and are less common compared to the other formats.

Think of them as a mama shop, but the FairPrice version.

While there is a lesser variety, since the physical stores are usually much smaller, you’ll still be able to find the basic essentials.

FairPrice Xtra

Entrace of FairPrice Xtra
Source: Time Out

Oh boy, these outlets are so easy to get lost in…

These outlets are huge, and they usually carry more brands as compared to your regular FairPrice Supermarkets.

On top of that, you can also shop for electronic products and clothes here, so it’s somewhat like a one-stop-shop.

FairPrice Finest

Entrance of FairPrice Finest
Source: ShopsinSG

If you felt that FairPrice Xtra had too many choices already, then good luck, you’re gonna be overwhelmed by the variety of choices in Finest!

FairPrice On

FairPrice On Truck
Source: LoopMe

Who loves online shopping? raise hand

You can probably find everything that they carry in their stores on FairPrice On so it’s super convenient! Like most online shopping experience, you can choose between home delivery and collecting in-store.


Is There Really A Price Difference?

Oops, back to the main point, is there a difference in prices at the different formats?

I’ve compared some of the most common household items that we need and well, you can see for yourself.

Even though there will only be two items per category compared below, trust me, I looked at a lot of brands, they all have the same trend.

Granted, I only went to one outlet from each retail format, but I’m assuming it speaks for the rest as well, and all prices were recorded on the same day.

Rice

A staple in our lives, so a must-have item to compare.

Anyone else finds that rice itself can be super sweet?

plate of rice surrounded by dishes being scooped clean by 5 hands
Source: giphy
BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice AAA Golden Royal Drago Thai White Fragrant Rice5kg$11.15$11.15$11.15$11.15$11.15
SongHe AAA Thai Hom Mali Rice5kg$16.90$16.90$16.90$16.90$16.90
(Discounted Price)$16.20$16.20$16.20$16.20$16.20

Okay, so prices and discounts are the same, no biggie, let’s move on to the next one.

Vegetable Oil

guy running to hide behind fridge after dropping food in pan full of hot oil
Source: giphy

I know there are different types of use for different functions, so I just decided to choose a general one.

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Vegetable Oil2LNA$5.75$5.75NA$5.75
Chief Brand Vegetable Oil2L$6.20NA$6.20NA$6.20

I couldn’t get a price for the FairPrice Vegetable Oil in FairPrice Supermarket as they only had the 3L version.

The oil selection in FairPrice Finest was a little lean, so it was missing some common brands.  While they carried their own house brand oil, they were didn’t have vegetable oil. Oh well.

As for Bendemeer’s FairPrice Shop, there was only FairPrice Vegetable Oil and Sotong Brand Vegetable Oil.

Eggs

gudetama relaxing in egg shell
Source: giphy

One of the simplest ingredients, but oh so yummy.

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
Pasar Fresh Eggs 10 per pack$2.10$2.10$2.10$2.10$2.10
Seng Choon Lower Cholesterol Eggs - Farm Fresh10 per pack$2.75NA$2.75$2.75$2.75

Bendemeer’s FairPrice Shop only had Pasar Fresh Eggs, but by the looks of it, Seng Choon Eggs have been the same price too.

Pasta

girl stuffing spaghetti in her mouth
Source: giphy

I’m probably gonna sound like a glutton by the end of the list, but who can say no to pasta?

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Pasta500g$1.95$1.95$1.95$1.95$1.95
San Remo Pasta500g$2.40$2.40$2.40$2.40$2.40

Good to know that another staple doesn’t differ in pricing!

Instant Noodles

justin timberlake with bleached hair
Source: giphy

Okay, if this is not a staple in your cupboard, I will judge you.

Even though it’s unhealthy.

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Instant Noodles - ChickenPack of 5$1.45$1.45$1.45$1.45$1.45
(Discounted Price)$1.35$1.35NA$1.35$1.35
Nissin Instant Noodles - ChickenPack of 5$2.30$2.30$2.30$2.30$2.30
(Discounted Price)$1.95$1.95$1.95$1.95$1.95

Everything was going well, no idea why there’s no promotion for FairPrice Instant Noodle at NEX though.

Fishball

scooping fishball from a bowl of fishball soup
Source: tenor

Help, I’m getting hungry!

That’s also me when I was staring at the chillers while recording the prices, so for simplicity sake, I chose fishballs!

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
Peng Liang Cooked Fish Ball450g$2.20$2.20$2.20$2.20$2.20
Dodo Fish Ball200g$2.00$2.00$2.00$2.00$2.00

I suppose you’re beginning to see a trend by now?

Canned Mushrooms

two mushrooms jumping and hi-five
Source: giphy

I’m not a big fan of canned food (except spam, such goodness) but sometimes it’s really convenient, no?

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
Hosen Mushroom - Choice Whole425g$1.45$1.45$1.45NA$1.45
(Discounted Price)$1.35$1.35$1.35$1.35
Narcissus Food - Whole Mushrooms425g$1.65$1.65$1.65$1.65$1.65
(Discounted Price)$1.25$1.25$1.25$1.25$1.25

Thought Hosen was a popular brand but apparently not fine enough for Funan’s FairPrice Finest to carry it.

Bread

cats trying to take bread off plate
Source: giphy
BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Bread - Wholemeal420g + free 80g$1.75$1.75$1.75$1.75$1.75
(Discounted Price)$1.55NA$1.55NA$1.55
Gardenia Wholemeal Bread - Fine Grain420g$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50$2.50

So, FairPrice Shop and Finest are missing the discount, but that was because I did not see any poster on their promotion.

For all we know, the deduction could be made during checkout.

Yea yea, I didn’t buy anything okay.

Butter

stack of bread slices buttered quickly
Source: giphy

Is one price butter than the other?

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Block Butter - Pure Creamery250g$4.50$4.50$4.50$4.50$4.50
President Block Butter - Salted250g$6.65NA$6.65$6.65$6.65
(Discounted Price)$5.95$5.95$5.95$5.95

Not surprisingly, prices and discounts are the same too! Just that Bendemeer’s FairPrice Shop didn’t have a wide range compared to the rest.

Peanut Butter

dogs eating peanut butter from spoon
Source: giphy

O.M.G. MY. LOVE.

Please don’t tell my mom that I used to eat it straight out of the jar.

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
Skippy Peanut Butter - Creamy500g$6.75$6.75$6.75$6.75$6.75
Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter - Regular462g$5.95$5.95$5.95$5.95$5.95
(Discounted Price)$4.50$4.50$4.50$4.50$4.50

Everything’s the same, all is well.

Cheese

cat getting smacked in the face by sliced cheese
Source: giphy

The root of my obsession with grilled cheese sandwich, thank goodness I can get it anywhere without worrying that I’ll be paying more!

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
Kraft Hi-Calcium Singles Cheese12 slices$6.25$6.25$6.25$6.25$6.25
President Cheese Slices - Emmental Toast10 slices$5.60NA$5.60$5.60$5.60

Well, not anywhere, FairPrice Shop seems to have a limited selection for cheese.

I wanted to compare the FairPrice house brand cheese but to be honest, it was so annoying, they fluctuate between individual packs or bundles of 3 in the different outlets.

Sugar

cartoon sugar pot spooning sugar into teacup
Source: giphy

Did you know that even frying vegetables require sugar?

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Pure Cane Sugar - Coarse Grain1kg$1.50$1.50$1.50$1.50$1.50
(Discounted Price)$1.35$1.35$1.35$1.35$1.35
SIS White Sugar - Coarse Grain1kgNANA$1.90$1.90$1.90
(Discounted Price)$1.60$1.60$1.60

Surprisingly, The Poiz Centre’s FairPrice Supermarket didn’t carry SIS White Sugar, either that, or I was blind by the time I reached that aisle.

And yea, the general trend is that Bendemeer’s FairPrice Shop carries the necessities only.

Salt

guy mimicking salt bae
Source: giphy

One of the items in our cupboard that takes forever to finish. But did you know it’s used in baking in very small quantities to increase the perceived sweetness?

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Premium Quality Fine SaltBox of 500g$0.45$0.45$0.45NA$0.45
Pagoda Fine Salt Box of 500g$0.50$0.50$0.50$0.50$0.50
(Discounted Price)$0.45$0.45$0.45$0.45$0.45

Of course, Funan’s FairPrice Finest carried their own house brand, but it came in a 250g portion instead. I tried!

Liquid Detergent

man with fake crown hugging box of tide detergent
Source: giphy

Okay, I need to stop with the food so here are some household necessities.

Please don’t start a debate on whether liquid or powder detergent is better, I just randomly picked one.

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Laundry Liquid Detergent4.4L$9.45$9.45$9.45$9.45$9.45
(Discounted Price)$8.55$8.55$8.55$8.55$8.55
Dynamo Power Gel Laundry Detergent2.7L / 3L$13.35$13.35$13.35$13.35$13.35
(Discounted Price)$8.95$8.95$8.95$8.95$8.95

So yay, even household items are the same price here. There were so many more brands in FairPrice Xtra though!

Dishwashing Liquid

chandler holding dishwashing bottle
Source: giphy
BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
FairPrice Dishwashing Liquid Detergent Refill - Lemon600mlNA$1.15$1.15$1.15$1.15
Mama Lemon Gold Dishwashing Liquid - Natural Lemon750ml$2.80NA$2.80NA$2.80

This was another troublesome one, even though it’s their house brand, Funan’s FairPrice Finest only had the refill and not the bottled version.

And The Poiz Centre’s FairPrice Supermarket only had the bottled version.

Then both Bendemeer’s FairPrice Shop and Funan’s FairPrice Finest only had Mama Lemon’s refill.

Excuse me FairPrice, are you trying to play a game? How am I supposed to remember where to buy which one?

Toilet Paper

pranking lady in toilet with toilet paper flying everywhere
Source: giphy

Or as FairPrice calls it, bathroom tissue. Sounds so atas.

BrandTypeFairPrice Supermarket
@ The Poiz Centre
FairPrice Shop @ Bendemeer RoadFairPrice Xtra
@ NEX
FairPrice Finest
@ Funan
FairPrice On
Royal Premium Toilet Roll - Heavy WeightPack of 10$4.75$4.75$4.75$4.75$4.75
Kleenex Ultra Soft Toilet Tissue RollsBundle of 2$14.45$14.45$14.45$14.45$14.45
(Discounted Price)$13.95$13.95$13.95$13.95$13.95

Well, the good news is, regardless of where you buy it from, the price is the same!

Unless your tushy is picky then you might want to go to FairPrice Xtra where you have the most options.


So If All The Prices Are The Same, It Doesn’t Matter Where I Shop Right?

You’re somewhat correct!

But after spending so much time in each FairPrice, I have some takeaways that I want to share with you.

If you happen to stay within walking distance of a FairPrice Shop, then it’s wonderful when you need something urgently or if you are just trying to pick up a staple on the way home. But don’t expect to be able to buy your fancy brands there.

FairPrice Finest is great, but the Funan outlet was smaller than I expected. On top of that, they also carried many other imported brands as well, leaving lesser space for common brands. Again, if that’s the one closest to you, then you won’t really have an issue getting what you need. But if you just happen to be in the area and you need to stock up, you might not be able to find what you usually buy.

FairPrice Supermarket and FairPrice Xtra are definitely the best to shop in since you have a wide selection to choose from. But I’m sure you’ve seen how crowded it can get, not to mention the queue to pay, oh the horror.

I’ve worked out some scenarios and here’s how you can still shop for groceries effectively with your busy schedule.

Plan Your Groceries & Buy Online

saving money using fairprice on's delivery and click & collect service

If you can plan your groceries in advance, it’ll definitely save you quite a bit of time and money! What’s more, you can buy your groceries online while you’re commuting since everything is done on our phones now.

Home Delivery

  • Orders below $39: $7 delivery fee
  • Orders above $39: free delivery

Since you’re buying for at least a week’s worth of groceries, you are likely to hit the minimum order for free home delivery.

Awesome right?

One tiny downside is just that their delivery slots are in two-hour intervals. So if you need your items urgently in the next hour, you’ll still have to head down to the physical store.

If I were you, I’ll plan my groceries properly.

You’ll be able to save so much time since you don’t have to physically find the items, queue for payment and lug them back home.

Time = Money, right? Sign me up for this, please!

Actually, you’ll save money too! Gone are the days of detouring on your way home to drop by for groceries.

My typical route home from work is simple, from one-north to Caldecott by train, which will cost me $1.29.

But if I were to go grocery shopping after work, this is my journey, one-north to Bishan then to Braddell. And since I won’t be able to finish buying and paying for my stuff within 45 minutes during peak hours, I won’t get the transfer rebate. This trip will then cost me $1.43 + $0.83 = $2.26.

On top of my grocery cost, I spend $2.26 – $1.29 = $0.97 more to travel to FairPrice. 

And let’s say you usually take 1 hour for the whole grocery shopping process, and your time is priceless! Just think how many Seedly articles you can read and gain more knowledge about your savings and investments, and of course, how much more time you can be spending with your family and friends!

Click & Collect

  • Orders below $29: $3 collection fee
  • Orders above $29: free collection

Don’t despair if you can’t hit the minimum order for free delivery, you can still save time with their Click & Collect service. Instead of getting the items delivered to your house, especially if there’s no one to receive it, you can choose your preferred outlet and time slot for collection.

While it might not save you the transport fees, it’ll definitely save you time, and it’s so important like I’ve illustrated above.

However, there are some things that you should take into consideration:

  • LinkPoints are not awarded for online purchases through FairPrice On, and you won’t be able to offset your  online purchases with your existing LinkPoints
  • Rebates for NTUC Plus! Visa or Plus! Visa cards are lower for purchases made on FairPrice On as compared to purchases made in-store
  • There will be attractive in-store promotions, that’s not available on FairPrice On, to make your trip worthwhile. But vice versa, there are some promotions that are exclusive to FairPrice On

Now that I can confirm that there are no differences in price, I can finally shop in peace in Finest and Xtra!

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