MANILA, Philippines - The much-awaited Pinoy Tasty has finally hit store shelves this week.
The Pinoy Tasty loaf bread is sold at P36, cheaper than the usual loaf bread sold at P42 to P46 in supermarkets and bakeshops.
Big bakers were able to come up with the cheaper loaf by taking out non-essential ingredients like eggs, milk, improvers and fortifiers without compromising taste.
Currently they are producing only a small amount of the Pinoy Tasty to test the market's reaction to the product.
So far, market response has been good. One buyer said, "Mahilig kasi mga anak ko diyan. Siguro in a week, thrice kami bumili eh. 'Di nakatipid na ako ng P30."
With the Pinoy Tasty's reasonable price, the problem is how to make sure there is enough supply to meet demand.
The supermarkets are optimistic that Pinoy Tasty will be a hit among price-conscious Pinoys.
"Sana dagdagan [ang supply] para magtagal-tagal naman. Dahil after 1 or 2 hours, ubos na eh," said Atty. Fedrico Ples, secretary-general of the Philippine Association of Supermarkets.
"It depends on how the consumers will respond. Kung magustuhan ng consumers, we will just keep providing more, said Jun Umali, president of Gardenia Bakeries.
Community bakers will also come up with their own Pinoy Tasty in the coming weeks.
Bakers, meanwhile, assured the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that Pinoy Tasty will continue to be sold at P36 for an entire month.
But the months of November and December may be a different story since flour prices are now back on an uptrend due to supply issues abroad.
"If prices increase in the world market, we will have to increase. But you have to look at the differential," said Johnlu Koa, chief executive officer of The French Baker.
"Hard to predict prices by December but it will still be cheaper," disclosed Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo.
Flour millers, meanwhile, also promised to reflect the correct prices, and to consult with the DTI before making price adjustments. -- Report from Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News