Meeting demands for meat in the new normal

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    At a time when staying at home is considered a civic duty rather than a sign of being an introvert, meat delivery services suddenly became more of a necessity rather than a luxury service.

    Be it from start-ups or established conglomerates, almost everyone introduced their own versions of how to have their meat and food products more accessible to consumers even in the comfort of their own homes.

    Great Food Solutions, the foodservice arm of San Miguel Foods, launched last year, a ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook line under the Cook Express and Chef’s Selection brands.

    The company describes its offering to have the “taste of homecooked meals, minus the complexities” as it was slow cooked and made with 100 percent real meat that went through individually quick freeze technology for sealed-in freshness and safety assurance.

    It has a wide selection of local favorites and international delicacies including beef tapa, bistek, dinuguan, kare-kare, lechon paksiw, chicken karaage, chili con carne, callos, chicken pastel, Korean beef stew, chicken hardinera, fresh corned beef, Angus burger, chorizo hamonado patty and chicken tocino that are available at Petron Treats and The Mall online market.

    Meanwhile, among the adjustments Cargill Philippines implemented last year is the selling of its products for retail both in communities and in supermarkets.

    Sonny Catacutan, the company’s president, said that while the hotel and restaurant and quick service or fastfood industry are reopening, sales were down as much as 40 percent during the height of the lockdowns in March and April.

    Despite the adjustment, Cargill which is best known for being the supplier of chicken meat to various fast food chains in the country committed that it will still pursue its P12.5 billion five-year investment program that was first announced in 2018.

    However, Catacutan said that the original plan has been in constant review to adapt based on developments amid the pandemic.

    Likewise, Mekeni Food Corp. which has been a brand that is synonymous food items that are usually served for breakfast was also forced to adjust with the uncertainties brought by the lockdowns.

    Prudencio Garcia, the company’s president, said that among the biggest programs they’ve introduced last year are the Home2Home Delivery, reseller programs for distributors and employees and the Bayani product line.

    “We wanted to ensure that our customers will have access to quality food from the safety of their homes, so we launched our online delivery service. Also, we ought to find viable ways for our aspiring micropreneurs to continue earning their livelihood that’s why we strengthened our reseller program and diversified our product lines to cater to them,” he explained.

    Apart from keeping the business afloat, Garcia said that they also came up with donation drives and outreach activities through various non-government organizations apart from providing food to over 700 families through the Mekeni Bayanihan Pack.

    “Our path to recovery is clear: we will continue prioritizing our people and our community’s welfare with malasakit and Bayanihan engraved in our services,” Garcia added.