As Koreans struggle, food chains raise fast food prices

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As Koreans struggle, food chains raise fast food prices

[JOONGANG PHOTO]

[JOONGANG PHOTO]

 
Due to the heavy rains and typhoons, your McDonald’s burger could cost you at least 9 cents more.
 
Other fast food companies are also adjusting their prices in the face of rising costs, with everything from peanut butter cream bread to soboro bread getting more expensive.
 
McDonald’s Korea will increase prices of its 30 products by 100 won ($0.09) to 300 won starting from Feb. 25. The price of the Big Mac and the McSpicy Shanghai burger will be increased to 4,600 won from 4,500 won. The Bulgogi burger will be sold at 2,200 won, a 200-won increase, the first rise in eight years.  
 
Prices of beverages will be increased by 100 won by McDonald’s Korea, while prices of coffee will be increased by up to 300 won depending on the size.  
 
“Prices of food ingredients such as chicken, pork, eggs and tomatoes have jumped some 20 percent to 30 percent, and labor costs also rose over the past five years,” a spokesperson at McDonald’s Korea said.  
 
Lotteria increased its burger prices by 100 won to 200 won, with an average increase of 1.5 percent.  
 
Paris Baguette raised the prices of 95 products—from a total 660 — with an average increase rate of 5.6 percent starting from Feb. 19. Its peanut butter cream bread, which was sold at 1,200 won, is now 1,300 won, while the price of soboro bread increased to 1,200 won from 1,100 won.  
 
“With the price of various expenses increasing, we have raised the prices of some of our products,” said a spokesperson for Paris Baguette. “Prices of the remaining 552 products have not changed."  
 
CJ Foodville’s Tous les Jours early in the month raised the prices of some 90 products, with an average increase of 9 percent.
 
CJ CheilJedang announced that it will increase the price of Hetbahn ready-made rice by some 6 to 7 percent starting from the late this month.  
 
“The price of a 210-gram [7.4 ounce] Hetbahn will be increased by 100 won,” said a spokesperson for CJ CheilJedang.  
 
 
Ottogi plans to raise the price of its cooked-rice product by 7 to 9 percent. Last month, Dongwon F&B increased the price of its Ssen Cook ready-made rice product by 11 percent, and Pulmuone raised the price of tofu 10 to 14 percent.  
 
The food companies say the increase of food prices is unavoidable at the moment when the heavy rainfall and a series of typhoons, as well as bird flu, caused a rise in the price of agricultural products.  
 
According to Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, the price of 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of green onions on Feb. 19 was up 206 percent year-on-year, while the price of 1 kilogram of onions jumped by 88 percent. Price of a flat of 30 eggs rose by some 50 percent, while 20 kilograms of rice rose by 16.4 percent.  
 
“Restaurants are trying hard to minimize the increase rate, but it’s unavoidable at the time,” said a source from food industry.
 
BY BAEK MIN-JEONG, CHEA SARAH   [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
 
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