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Increased demand for festive goods in Labuan
Published on: Sunday, February 18, 2018

Labuan: The duty-free island has seen an increase in demand for Chinese New Year goods this year as compared to 2017.

According to a spokesperson from Bataras Hypermarket here, the demand for certain products that are known to be best-sellers during this festive season has increased this time around when compared to their sales last year.

These products include snacks and tidbits usually served at open houses. The demand for cold storage too has increased, mainly for certain types of seafood, including the white pomfret fish which is often served as a dish during the new year as a symbol for prosperity.

The prices for these products however remains the same during this festive season due to the price control scheme imposed by the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry.

When speaking to a fruit vendor at the main market, Norzatinah Jatni said the demand for various types of fruit has increased by 30 per cent this year. These fruits include mandarin oranges, oranges, Korean pears, apples, pineapple and pamelo.

"Even though the demand has increased, I have managed to maintain my prices," she said.

However, according to vegetable vendor Goh Ah Ling, the demand for vegetable has remained the same, seeing that most of their supply comes from the mainland, many suppliers have taken the backseat due to the holidays.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Milimewah Supermarket said the demand for goods in their store for this festive season has decreased when compared to the chinese new year period in 2017.

"This is probably because people are more frugal with their spendings due to the current economic situation," he said.

He said the supply for most goods has remained the same and only certain kitchen staples have been selling better than usual.

Another product that has been selling well is the niangao or glutinous rice cake which is a famous delicacy which symbolises higher income and status during this festive period. Also a traditional best-seller is the tangyuan or sweet rice balls which represents family togetherness in the Chinese culture. - Iffah Dilaney

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