Help seniors cope with higher drink prices

NTUC Foodfare has increased the prices of most drinks, except those bearing the Healthier Choice symbol ("Most drink prices up at NTUC Foodfare outlets"; Feb 27).

If it wants to encourage healthier lifestyle choices among its customers, why does the price increase also include kopi o kosong, teh o kosong (coffee and tea, respectively, without sugar and milk) and siu dai (less sugar and milk) drinks?

Coffee and tea do not carry the Healthier Choice symbol, but it is clear that the Health Promotion Board considers the siu dai and kosong versions a healthy choice, as seen in the promotion where those who order these drinks stand to win up to $5,000.

It is disappointing that Foodfare has raised the prices for these drinks as well.

The increase is more painful for the elderly and retirees who drink these drinks daily.

Perhaps Foodfare could take a leaf from Kopitiam's book. Seniors aged 60 and above receive a customised Kopitiam iCard that entitles them to a 30 per cent discount on drinks, fruits and desserts.

Foodfare could give retirees and the elderly a card like this that entitles them to a discount for a period of, say, one to two years. Thereafter, they will have to pay the full price.

This will help seniors to adjust to the increased prices gradually.

Francis Cheng