food prices

Study says grocery items in the Philippines are the cheapest in Southeast Asia

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Study says grocery items in the Philippines are the cheapest in Southeast Asia

GROCERY ITEMS. Prices for common market goods such as dairy, fruits and vegetables are lower in Southeast Asia, according to a study by iPrice.


However, the capital city still has one of the highest costs of living in the region, and the lowest average salary

Common grocery items are cheaper in the Philippines compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, even if its capital, Manila, is still one of the most expensive cities to live in, with the lowest average salary.

A study by iPrice revealed that a grocery list including basic goods such as dairy, produce, and alcohol comes out to a total in Manila that is significantly less than in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Based on data from cost of living database Numbeo, a full range of market items in the Philippines amounts to an average of P2,437 – 10% less than in Vietnam, where the total amounts to P2,687. 

Not surprisingly, groceries are most expensive in Singapore, where the total price for the same market items amounts to P5,561. Singapore also has the highest cost of living among the countries. 

A price breakdown shows that items like dairy, meat, and alcohol and cigarettes are cheapest in the Philippines, while carbs like bread and rice, and fruits and veggies are still relatively cheaper than in other countries. 

Only the cost of drinking water was on high side – at P39 for a 1.5 liter bottle, it was the second most expensive, after Singapore.

Grocery items in Malaysia and Indonesia were also found to be relatively cheaper, but alcohol and cigarettes are heavily taxed, making these items more than twice as expensive as they are in the Philippines. 

High cost of living, low salary

Curiously, while grocery items are cheaper compared to the rest of the region, the total cost of living is high.

The estimated average monthly cost of living in Manila for a single person is at P50,798, according to a previous iPrice study. The study noted that rent in Manila is second-highest in the region. 

At the same time, Manila recorded the lowest average salary compared to other Southeast Asian countries, with the iPrice study noting that the average salary in the city at P18,900 a month.

The relative cheapness of grocery items in the Philippines is also tempered by soaring inflation rates, driving prices up and affecting the urban poor.

In August, inflation rose to 4.9%, from 4% in July, with the price of food items such as fish and vegetables rising sharply.

According to the National Wages and Productivity Commission, the current nominal minimum wage in the National Capital Region as of August 2021 is at P537/day for the non-agriculture sector, and P500/day for agriculture sector.

Online groceries on the rise

Another study by iPrice showed that online groceries are on the rise in the country – not surprising, considering the ongoing quarantine throughout the pandemic. 

According to iPrice, the traffic for top online groceries’ websites in the Philippines grew by 89%, with web visits in April rising by 78%, compared to web visits in February. 

The rise coincides with the COVID-19 surge in April, when the collective National Capital Region (NCR Plus) was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) – the strictest quarantine classification in the country.

Cheapest delivery fees

Comparing delivery fees and minimum order amounts of 11 online grocery stores, iPrice found that those who only have one or two items on their list can benefit from Landers or SM Markets, which have no minimum order requirements.

SM Markets has a set delivery fee of P150, while Landers’ delivery fee is based on the number of items. Landers also requires a membership, and charges a personal shopper fee.

Health food stores such as RealFood and Wholesome Grocer also don’t require a minimum amount, and have set delivery fees within Metro Manila of P150 and P160 respectively.

Those with longer shopping lists might get more value through MetroMart, where they have a P1,000 minimum order requirement and an P80 delivery fee. Through MetroMart, shoppers can order in groceries like S&R, Robinsons Supermarket, and Rustans Marketplace.

Shopwise, PureGold, and AllDay Supermarket also have the same minimum order requirement of P1,000, though their delivery fees are higher: P200 for Shopwise, P150 for PureGold and a price depending on the delivery location for AllDay Supermarket.

For those buying in bulk, iPrice recommends WalterMart, which has a minimum order requirement of P2,000 and a P99 delivery fee. –

Save even more on groceries when you purchase using these MetroMart promo codes.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!