F&B exporters turn to local market

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    Food and beverage (F&B) exporters turn to the domestic market to make up for the low demand from global buyers.

    But results of a survey by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) showed nearly half of the local companies still want to serve the export market despite the emerging trends and challenges in a post-pandemic global market.

    It added firms still interested in the export market have identified Americas, Europe, Middle East, Canada and Japan as the destination which they will continue serving after the new coronavirus disease 2019.

    F&B companies have shifted to digitalization to boost sales as they expect to get back on track in less than a year, a survey result indicated.

    The survey, fielded from May 22 to June 5 on 141 respondent micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) identified logistical challenges and drop in product and service demand affected local companies the most. A significant number of them also noted they are having a hard time sourcing raw material.

    Despite these problems, only 2.1 percent of the respondent MSMEs consider shutting down temporarily.

    Health and sanitation are now the top priority of the respondents while almost all companies are working to boost their local production, domestic sales, and financing, the same survey indicated.

    It also found that interest is likewise strong in terms of export promotion effort, digitalization/process automation, and strengthening raw material sourcing.

    F&B companies building an online management system to log and receive orders 24/7; created new essential products and offer additional services; contactless shopping, payment and delivery; and stronger marketing in the community and local marketplaces, the survey said.

    Digitalization efforts include strengthening marketing on social media platforms, increasing use of email interactions, investing on website development, building presence on e-commerce platforms, and exploring online payment schemes.

    These efforts aim to generate more sales; grow client and buyer database; build and manage brand image; offer products, service, discounts and promos online; and advertise to a wider audience range.