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10 Oct 2023

Thai Economy

Bangkokians’ spending on Kin Jae to grow by 3.5 percent in 2023, due in part to rising prices of Jae food compared to the previous year (Current Issue No.3438)


        KResearch holds the view that vegetarian food prices are expected to rise during the annual 9-day Kin Jae festival set for October 15-23, 2023. This is because production costs of vegetarian dishes are likely to increase compared to a year earlier. The volatile weather conditions, heavy rains and floods have affected many farming areas, leading to a drop in crop yields including vegetables (such as kale and pumpkin), rice and tofu which are main ingredients of Jae food. Additionally, plant-based proteins typically see price hikes due to increased demand during the Kin Jae festival, while energy prices remain at a high level. As evidenced, the overall food-at-home inflation rose by 1.5 percent YoY and food-away-from-home inflation grew by 1.1 percent YoY in September 2023. This reflects that prices of Jae food for both dining at home and at restaurants are set to rise, especially during the Kin Jae festival. However, the number of Bangkok residents participating in this year’s festival is expected to increase due to their growing interest in healthy eating, and the resumption of normal lifestyles.

        Amid a potential increase in Jae food prices, concerns about high living costs, and fragile purchasing power, although the government has introduced measures aimed at easing the cost of living, such as discount campaigns, consumers are still worried about their expenses and future income. According to KResearch’s survey results, Bangkokians who plan to follow a Jae diet are trying to change their spending behavior in part by controlling their budget during the festival. They would reduce their number of days of participation and choose affordable food options like street food stalls and dine-in shops. KResearch therefore projects that Bangkok residents’ spending throughout the 2023 Kin Jae festival will amount to THB 3.1 billion, growing by 3.5 percent YoY. This is based on a forecast that Jae food prices may increase by 2.5 percent YoY, while the volume of vegetarian food purchase is likely to grow slightly, by approximately 1.0 percent YoY.

        Looking ahead, Jae food consumption remains unlikely preferable among most Bangkok residents. This poses a challenge to potential growth in the Jae food business. The key focus thus lies in effective strategies to boost sales and expand the customer base even beyond the Kin Jae festival. Businesses should highlight the value that the Jae diet offers compared to regular food. Moreover, focus should be on introduction of special menus to offer greater dining experiences and encourage repeat purchases through the use of premium ingredients (alternative proteins, superfoods), and production of new menu items to create market differentiation; as well as promotions and discounts both during and after the Kin Jae festival.