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Creating brands for famous Pinoy pasalubong

September 24, 2006
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(Philippine Daily Inquirer Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) CITY OF SAN FERNANDO From a startup capital of P80 in 1990, the polvoron and pastillas business of couple Redentor and Fatima del Rosario has grown to a P2 million venture.

On Tuesday, their enterprise, called Sasmuan Delicacies, as well as 10 other small businesses earned the trademark Vida Pampanga!

The brand, which stands for excellence in food products standards, would allow Sasmuan Delicacies to sell more in the export market, says Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, Department of Trade and Industry undersecretary for regional operations.

The brand, launched last Tuesday, qualifies the company to be part of the governments One Town, One Product (Otop) marketing program that in 2005 grossed export sales of $113.98 million out of various products from 10 regions, Cruz-Evangelista tells the Inquirer.

Domestic sales from out of 130 Otop pasalubong centers and 1,129 outlets totaled P2.19 billion last year, she says.

On top of that, 3,000 new medium to small enterprises created at least 102,423 jobs over the last 18 months, she adds.

According to her, among the top sellers are lambanog or coco vodka from Tayabas, Quezon; processed bangus from Pangasinan; chicharon from Ilocos Sur; papier mache and woodcarved items from Laguna; gifts and holiday decorations from Rizal; sabutan hats from Aurora; jewelry from Meycauayan, Bulacan; ceramics from Sto. Tomas and furniture from Guagua, both in Pampanga; mangoes from Zambales; cut foliages from Capiz, Iloilo; and marine products from General Santos City.

These products have penetrated the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong markets, Cruz-Evangelista says.

Aside from Sasmuan Delicacies, others that were given certificates of accreditation that allowed them to carry the Vida Pampanga! brand were Nut N Else, NeriMars Sweets, Lailens Pastries, Pines Brownies and Delicacies, Aizas Sweets, Carreons Sweet and Pastries, Emys Sweets and Pastries, Aling Conchings Native Products, Navarro Food International and Kuliat Cakes and Pastries.

They joined the vibrant league of homegrown enterprises. The branding provides us a breakthrough in the export market, says Del Rosario after the launch.

The 11 family-based enterprises have banded under the Sweets and Delicacies Association of Pampanga (SnDAP).

Gov. Mark Lapid emphasized self-reliance, saying small businesses would really have to live and succeed on what they know they do best.

The brand carries the symbols of the famous San Fernando lantern and Mt. Arayat and the phrase Sharing the Best!

The provincial government has set aside P1 million for the promotion of the brand. It will be introduced to the Filipino-American community through a trade fair in Los Angeles, California, by the end of September, Lapid says.

Anacleto Blanco, DTI provincial director, says the branding process took two years. It started when Pampanga joined the Philippine food business mission to the US in 2004 and All Asia Food Expo in Toronto, Canada, in 2005.

The idea of going full-blast in the promotion and marketing of local food products came from former Trade Secretary Cesar Purisima, Blanco says, recalling the canned laing that sold well in the US.

Cruz-Evangelista says Goldilocks, makers of cakes and pastries, was one of the first Filipino companies that ventured into the foreign markets, starting with the Filipino-American community in North America and eventually among American consumers.

Copyright 2006 Philippine Daily Inquirer. Source : Financial Times Information Limited (Trademark)

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