MANILA – Australian honey, wines, milk and many other products are among the imported goods that are now available to the Philippine market after Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc signed a partnership deal with the Woolworths supermarket brand, the retail giant said on Wednesday.
Over 150 products in various categories will be available in all Shopwise, The Marketplace, and select Robinsons Supermarket branches, said Robinsons Retail’s Supermarket Segment managing director Jody Gadia in a virtual briefing.
Woolworths is Australia’s “most valuable brand” with over 1,000 supermarkets in the continent, Robinsons Supermarket said.
Popular brands of Australian oats, wines, breakfast cereals, pancake shaker or mix, beverages such as lactose-free milk, Australian fruit juices and other organic and non-organic products even organic baby food will be available via the Robinsons Supermarket group's chain of physical stores.
“We want to share with our customers these household favorites from Australia. It has always been our thrust to continue offering new products that will excite our shoppers every time they visit our stores. Woolworths’ values are also consistent with the Robinsons Supermarket Group’s focus on health and wellness,” Gadia said.
The partnership will cement the group’s position in offering healthy food options, Gadia said.
Filipinos can avail of the goods at an affordable price as they are 10 to 15 percent cheaper compared to other imported goods sold in the market, he said.
Woolworths International Sales Head Brian Newton said the Australian firm is confident in its Philippine expansion despite the pandemic due to the growing demand for healthier options.
“I think what makes our products popular overseas is the quality. Australia is obviously clean, green and healthy place and we have really strict food safety standards,” he added.
CULTURE EXCHANGE THROUGH FOOD
The entry of more Australian goods in the Philippine market through the partnership of Robinsons and Woolsworth is “the perfect timing” as the Philippines and Australia is celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations this month, said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven James Robinson AO.
The Philippines is one of Australia’s longest-standing bilateral relationships, he said.
“There is no better time to mark this groundbreaking entry in the Philippines as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Australia-Philippines diplomatic relationships this year. At last Filipinos will discover Woolworths' range of Australia’s quality products,” Robinson said.
“This is a real exchange in sharing the two cultures through food,” Robinson said, adding that “you can’t go past the Australian wines.”
Australia also has remarkable organic products and one of the world’s best wines, he said.
Asked what the best products that best define the taste of Australia, Ambassador Robinson said “if you have not tasted Australian honey, you have not lived.”
Salad dressing and the secret burger sauce from Woolworths are also “outrageously good,” he said.
Newton, meanwhile, said Filipinos could enjoy Woolworths' range of ice cream, popcorn, snacks, burger sauce and the King of Chunkie Chocolate Chip Cookie when asked what’s best to buy this summer.
Gadia assured consumers that logistics and handling will be manageable despite the pandemic since the supermarket operator has 3 distribution centers in the country, Gadia said.
“The challenge is to identify which ones move and to replenish as fast as we could to make sure shelves are properly stocked at any given time,” he added.
Products will also be available on the group’s e-commerce platform GoRobinsons.ph, the Gokongwei-led company said.
Robinsons Retail Holdings's first quarter net income rose 2.4 percent to P945 million, with e-commerce sales "significantly" growing by 7 times, it said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.
“We remain agile as we accelerate the growth of our e-commerce programs while ensuring that necessary cost controls are in place. We are rising to the challenges brought about by the pandemic," Robinsons Retail Holdings president and CEO Robina Gokongwei-Pe said.
The Gokongwei group has also accelerated its digital push to keep up with the changing consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.