MANILA, Philippines -- Ice cream does not only symbolize summer nowadays. The international ice cream sundae shop Swensen has, in fact, introduced its “Ultimate Ricecream Sundaes” to its Filipino clientele for the Christmas season.
The sundae line focuses on two all-time Filipino favorites, the sticky rice and ripe mango, which graces Filipinos’ dining tables on Christmas Eve. However, the concoction was actually introduced first in Thailand and Singapore during their summer seasons.
“In line with Swensen’s Philippines unending quest to satisfy every customer’s palette, we continue to expand our list of sumptuous sundae offerings in gourmet-quality and at reasonable prices,” Swensen’s Philippines marketing manager Ace Azarraga said.
There are five variants in the special line-up -- all made up of Swensen’s own mango ice cream with pandan sticky rice on the side and could be differentiated only depending on how big the appetite of the customer is.
The Mango Sensation, Mango On-The-Go, Sticky Rice with Mango, Mango Hurricane and Mango Breeze Boat are also topped with whipped cream, chopped almonds, and mango sauce.
Some of the variants have mochi balls and coconut milk on the side, which makes one remember the Thai-version of the Philippines’ own halo-halo.
Azarraga said the "ricecream" sundaes made such an impact in Thailand because of the Asian twist. Sticky rice and ripe mangoes abound there. Add to that, too, is the fact that there are more Swensen’s sundae shops than McDonald’s stores on the Southeast Asian nation.
While Swensen is quite young in the Philippines, having celebrated only its second year this year, the franchisers intend to make the most out of the brand here. They are now planning to put up shop elsewhere in the country, but focusing more in Metro Manila.
Recently, the San Francisco, California-based Swensen’s celebrated its second birthday in the Philippines by offering customers a scoop of ice cream for a peso each. A throng of customers were seen lined-up outside Swensen’s store at the SM Mall of Asia last September.
“Swensen’s has been a popular watering hole in our neighboring countries Thailand and Singapore. Knowing that most Filipinos are born with sweet tooth, as well as a discriminating taste of ice cream that is also value of money, we felt that Swensen’s will be a craze in Manila,” general manager Lizzie Guerrero said.
It was the Guerreros of The Old Spaghetti House and Grilla Bar and Grill that brought the Swensen’s brand to the Philippines.
Azarraga said the ingredients in their sundaes, except for the ice cream itself, were obtained locally. He added that they expect to team up with distributors for fruits and other ingredients once Swensen’s gains a strong foothold in the country.