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Ice cream business sweetens in the Islands as four major packers share growing market.

Ice cream companies continue to do well in the Philippines. Selecta Dairy Products, a subsidiary of the RFM Group, has raised projected earnings in 1992 from P8 million to P12 million (P26 = US$ 1). Not surprisingly, daily production capacity has been doubled to 8,000 gallons.

The Quezon City-based outfit has been successfully marketing high quality sherbet since the 1940s. Its premium 100% fat-free product line is popular among health-conscious consumers as well as physical fitness enthusiasts.

CFC Corporation, manufacturer of Presto and Tivoli ice cream brands, recently introduced Funwich. The dark chocolate cookie sandwich is filled with either vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Also new from the company are Tivoli Sundaes, which come in Choco Fudge, Vanilla Strawberry and Buko Ube varieties. The latter features bits of tender, young coconut meat and purple sweet potato sauce.

Not to be left out of the new product parade is Magnolia Corp. of Manila. It has unveiled Sorbetes Premium Sesame Kasoy Espesyal and Sorbetes Espesyal Tsokolate Real. The former is made of sesame ice cream with chocolate chips, cashew nuts and sesame seeds. The latter consists of thick, Spanish-style chocolate with chocolate chips, cashew nuts and chocolate-coated butter cookies.

Report Charts Market

Filipinos are getting to be great lovers of ice cream, concludes a study made by Dealer Pulse, Inc. Indeed, the Philippines' Department of Trade and Industry estimates that in 1990 no less than 12.9 million gallons worth over 1 billion pesos (about US $40 million) was consumed nationwide.

Moreover, says Dealer Pulse, the market for ice cream in 1989 totaled 7.3 million gallons worth 450 million pesos ($16.1 million) in 1987. Consumption in 1990 was projected to rise to 12.9 million gallons, based on an annual growth pattern averaging 25%.

The major players in the inter-island ice cream business are: San Miguel Corporation's Magnolia brand; Consolidated Foods Corporation's Presto label, launched in 1972; Seamark Enterprises' sorbetero and Coney Island offerings, which have been around since 1979; and Selecta Dairy Products' Selecta, which dates back to the late 1940s.

Manila Sales Dominate

The study also found that the greater Manila area, with 7.9 million inhabitants, led the rest of the 61 million population country with a 69.5% share of business in 1989. Other major markets are: Luzon (population 25.4 million), accounting for a 12.7% share; Visayas (13 million people), 9.4%; Mindanao (14.3 million people), 8.4%.

Ice cream sales by store type show supermarkets in the lead with a 25.9% share. Other outlets include: ice cream parlors, 24.7%; groceries, 11.9%; refreshment parlors, 8.9%; restaurants, 7.8%, "sari-sari" or small general or convenience stores, 6.7%; school and institutional canteens, 1.2%.

Franchise stores could be the next segment to cash in on ice cream in a big way. Magnolia Davao Flavor House opened recently in Davao City under the new franchise system of Magnolia Dairy Plant of Manila. The ice cream and frozen snack bar is part of the company's current thrust to establish a chain of franchise outlets similar to hamburger and pizza fast food chains.

The first Magnolia franchise sports a design that exudes a wholesome, family-oriented ambience. Management says that it will become the hallmark of other units that are expected to open soon in Manila and other cities.

Meanwhile, the firm has introduced coffee n dates ice cream to the retail trade. The product is advertised as a "perky ice cream deliciously decked with plump dates, then blended with cashew nuts, raisins and flavorful rum-rimpple."

Enter Frozen Yogurt

And now frozen yogurt is making the scene.

"You can enjoy all the good taste of ice cream without gaining any weight," advised Better Than Ice Cream (BTIC) frozen yogurt parlor proprietor Nestor "Butch" Bonan. He explained how his business got started:

"I never like yogurt because of its sour taste. But in 1988, while visiting my daughter who was studying chemistry in Hawaii, I happened on a store called The Country's Best Yogurt. That was the first time I tasted a non-sour yogurt and it was good."

Bonan thought it would be enterprising to make the product available in Manila. He wrote to some of America's top yogurt retailers about franchising in the Philippines. However, they reportedly would not think of sharing technology, preferring instead to export their finished product.

The idea of selling frozen yogurt in Manila obsessed Bonan. Upon learning that a university on the east coast of the United States offered a short course in dairy processing, he arranged for his wife and daughter to enroll. Soon they mastered the process of yogurt making. But it took an additional year of trial and error before the BTIC frozen yogurt formula was perfected.

Now, almost a year into the venture, business is sweet. And that is so in spite of the fact that the Better Than Ice Cream shop is situated right smack between two competing establishments that serve well-known ice cream brands.
COPYRIGHT 1993 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Title Annotation:Philippines
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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