Filipinos start shift to 'patriotic shopping' amid rise of global brands in PH

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2018 06:55 PM

MANILA - Filipinos are starting to opt for brands that source their raw materials from local producers as consumers become more aware of indigenous products through online channels, a recent study showed.

Of 252 respondents, 93 percent believe that buying from local companies is a patriotic act, a study conducted by international marketing and communications firm Havas Ortega showed.

They are aware that buying from businesses that support local producers will help sustain small Filipino farmers, said Philip Tiongson, Havas Ortega's head of Data and Analytics.

Online shops, petitions to support a cause, and other content from the internet help raise awareness about indigenous products and how buying these can help other Filipinos, analysts said.

"It's about the Internet. It's about data. It's about information dissemination which is so much easier," Havas Ortega chairman Jos Ortega told ABS-CBN News.

"With social media, the people found their voice, they found like-minded people to share that voice: What is the brand doing to my community?" he said.

BRICK AND MORTAR

The awareness and willingness of consumers to support local brands may also be seen in the opening of small but many brick and mortar stores that sell proudly Filipino goods, Ortega said.

"About 80 percent of pocket kiosks [in malls] are locals so they are there but they still cannot afford to rent the premium retail spaces," he said.

Last year, a group of Filipino retailers said they would seek help from mall owners in securing more prime retail spaces for local products as large fashion and food giants continue to occupy multi-level shops near mall entrances where shoppers usually pass by.

"Filipinos will go to foreign retailers anyway but if they will have to pass by the local retailers first, the local brands will have a chance," Philippine Retailers Association chairman emeritus Samie Lim told ABS-CBN News.

Ortega said it would take some time before local brands can compete head on with its international counterparts.

"It takes time because Uniqlo and H&M did not go there overnight," Ortega said of the retail giants.

"But it's starting. There are craftswomen who are sharing their culture with the rest of the world through food or fabric, and people are more willing to buy it," he said.