The return of a popular rice meal from a homegrown fast food brand was referenced as proof of the worsening inflation in the country.
Jollibee announced on Monday, October 3 that its patrons can order its Garlic Pepper Beef meal again in its stores in time for the holiday season.
A crowd favorite, the rice meal comes with beef slices, pepper gravy and toasted garlic bits, hence the name.
It was made available in Metro Manila starting last Monday while the rest of Luzon can order it starting October 10, and then in Visayas and Mindanao on October 31.
Each order costs P95 for solo and P120 for the value meal.
Jollibee’s patrons were delighted by the comeback of the well-loved rice meal.
Some Filipinos, however, could not help but notice that it got a huge price hike over the years.
They perceived it as proof of the surge in the inflation rate in the country.
Writer Alfonso Manalastas juxtaposed an old poster of the Garlic Pepper Beef when it first came out with Jollibee’s recent promotional advertisement for the meal.
The meal was originally valued at P49 only.
“Look me in the eyes and tell me inflation isn’t real,” Manalastas tweeted.
LOOK ME IN THE EYES AND TELL ME INFLATION ISN’T REAL pic.twitter.com/jHTAau4rv7
— Alfonso Manalastas (@not_alfonso) October 3, 2022
Based on Jollibee’s Facebook page, the rice variety was first offered in January 2014.
The full meal also comes with a regular iced tea drink back then.
Manalastas’ tweet garnered 9,617 retweets, 4,577 quote-retweets and 48,500 likes so far.
Despite the price increase, a food blogger named “Masarap Ba” said the food item is still delicious.
The blogger rated it as “Masarap Pa Rin” on a Facebook post.
“Huy, masarap pa rin naman kahit nagmahal na. Yung sauce, nostalgia ang dala pero yung malitid na beef, gudlak na lang sa tinga,” the review reads with a laughing emoji.
Some Filipinos on Reddit also talked about the fast food chain’s popular chocolate sundae.
A Redditor posted a photo of Jollibee’s menu on October 4 on the subreddit r/Philippines, a community that talks about issues and topics related to the Philippines.
“Jollibee’s Chocolate Sundae is now 45 pesos,” the post reads.
A cursory check on Jollibee’s previous social media posts showed that the ice cream variety was offered at only P30 in November 2018.
How inflation affects us
The country’s inflation raked to 6.9% in September from 6.3% in August, the Philippine Statistics Agency said on Wednesday, October 5.
Experts considered the September inflation rate as the fastest since October 2018.
The numbers and technical terms make the news about inflation difficult to understand.
Merriam-Webster defines inflation as “a continuing rise in the general price level usually attributed to an increase in the volume of money and credit relative to available goods and services.”
The main consequence of high inflation is that it will decrease the number of goods and services a person can buy using a given amount of money.
“If wages remain the same but inflation causes the prices of goods and services to increase over time, it will take a larger percentage of your income to purchase the same good or service in the future,” an explainer from Investopedia reads.
This affects all types of goods and services such as restaurant menus, public transport fares and daily utilities.