BANGKOK, Oct 5 – Spending at Thailand’s renowned celebrated vegetarian food festival is likely to top Bt11 billion this year, despite consumers tending to be more price conscious, as concerns about the rising cost of living and possible flooding which weigh on both minds and pocketbooks, according to the Kasikorn Research Centre (KRC).
The leading think tank said that consuming vegetarian food has been more popular in recent years, in particularly among the young generations, as veggie cuisines become more trendy and fashionable–as well as good for modest budgets.
Government measures such as raising the daily minimum wage, controlling agricultural produce prices and fixing consumer product prices may help spur purchasing power, but consumers may still spend cautiously due to the higher cost of living which has increased in tandem with higher energy prices.
The public concern over possible flooding as great as last year may dampen some spending, so consumers may tighten their belts and pay more attention to getting bargains when shopping.
The earlier flooding in some provinces which has resulted in higher prices for fresh produce and fruit could turn some consumers away from cooked vegetable dishes to choose instant noodles and soyamilk to spare their wallets.
The Vegetarian Food Festival is celebrated annually according to Chinese beliefs in abstaining from stimulants and meat during the ninth month of the lunar calendar.
The festival is celebrated from October 15 through October 23.