Monday, July 28, 2008

Pinoy shopping habits

Margie Quimpo-Espino of the Inquirer sent questions to the country's top retailers to see if Filipinos have adjusted their buying habits:
Has there been a shift in what people are buying these days because of the rice crisis and the rice in fuel prices? Are people buying less or buying the same of lower priced items? Are brands still important to consumers or price is the only decision-making factor these days? What products are the winners these days?"
Shopwise was the only big retailer which sent out a written reply. Vice President for Marketing Frances Yu noted that, "Gas and bigas seem to be the biggest foes facing Filipinos today." Pinoys buy the basics: sugar, oil, canned goods, noodles and fresh items continue to do well. They know what their priorities are and drop the toys, gadget and clothes. Yu also noted the trend of downtrading: drop the name brand and go for the same product that carries the lower price tag. Use less fabric conditioner. Shift from Dinorado to Sinandomeng rice. Make your escabeche out of tilapia and not the lapu-lapu. 

While consumers are ready to make concessions, it seems the Pinoy can't let go of one thing: snacks. Yu claims that the snack category has grown steadily amid the crisis, five years running. New products introduced to the market help--Coke Zero supposedly revitalized the drinks industry. We can let go of the fabric conditioner, but we must have our merienda. Are we eating because we are hungry, or is this stress eating? Very interesting indeed. 

Price, Job, Income

It's no school Monday, presumably because the weather bureau anticipated heavier rains. A day at home is always nice, but what I'm really thankful for is the chance to watch the State of the Nation Address later. 

Of all Philippine leaders post-EDSA 1, the current presidency has already garnered the lowest approval rating (-21) since 1989. According to the SWS survey, more Pinoys are going hungry.  Cielito Habito in the Inquirer posits that this year's presidential address will look into what the administration can do about the rising food prices (presyo) and the security of jobs (hanapbuhay) and incomes (kita).

According to reports, the address will be short--10 pages, no frills. It really is a challenge how to appease a hungry and angry nation. Ten pages of renewed promises? Really hope that there will be concrete platforms, and not just for the poor, and not just for the moment, but really long-term goals that will help everyone. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Market Man's Crisis Menu

Even Market Man sees the need for lower-priced but nutritious dishes in the midst of the double-digit inflation. His advice? 

1. Forget about eating out in fast food restaurants; cook more, cook smarter, cook at home. 
2. Shop locally, eat seasonally
3. Vary your menu with lesser priced alternatives. 

He also gives a list of dishes he's featured in the past that are friendly on the budget. It's really time to eat more vegetables.