‘No Pepsi price rise’: Ministry takes fizz out of living cost crisis

TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

The Commerce Ministry says the cost of Pepsi will not rise after June 1 despite the manufacturer’s warning that cans and bottles will be hiked by 1-2 baht from Wednesday (June 1).

Carbonated drinks are among 18 basic products and services whose prices cannot be raised without Commerce Ministry approval.

Suntory PepsiCo Beverage (Thailand) said on Sunday it would increase the price of Thailand’s second-most popular soft drink by 1 baht for small cans/bottles and 2 baht for large bottles.

The company cited higher packaging costs but said the price of its other soft-drink brands, including 7-Up and Mirinda, would remain the same.

The announcement threatened to add to rising living costs that the Bank of Thailand says are suppressing economic recovery.

The U-turn came after the ministry’s Department of Internal Trade (DIT) contacted the manufacturer to query the hike, said director-general Wattanasak Sur-iam on Monday.

“However, the manufacturer notified the department that it is facing rising costs for plastic beads, aluminium cans, and transportation due to rising cost of fuel,” he said.

He added that the DIT is monitoring the price of consumer products closely.

Manufacturers who wish to raise the prices of monitored goods must report the reasons to the DIT.

“Product hoarding, unfair price hiking, and refusing sale carry a penalty of up to seven years in jail, a fine of 140,000 baht, or both,” Wattanasak warned. Consumer could report violations by calling the 1569 hotline or contacting their provincial commerce office, he added.

The 17 other consumer goods whose prices are controlled by the DIT are instant noodles, eggs and meats, canned foods, bagged rice, seasoning sauces, vegetable oils, milk and dairy products, electrical appliances, cleaning products (including detergents), fertilisers, insecticides, animal feed, iron, cement, paper, drugs and medical equipment, and services of wholesale and retail shops.