Fruit Magic plans network expansion

By Max V. de Leon, BusinessMirror

Posted at Aug 21 2012 07:26 AM | Updated as of Aug 21 2012 03:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Fruit drink franchise concept Fruit Magic is seeking to double the number of outlets by next year, with the provincial areas as the main focus of expansion.

Alan L. Escalona, president and chief executive of Fruit Magic, said the company decided to aggressively expand beginning this year as part of a strategy to withstand competition from other food stall brands that are selling freshly made beverages like fruit juice and milk tea.

“In our brain-storming sessions, we decided that we can no longer sit on our laurels, and part of branding is more stores. Also, there is a white elephant in us, which is franchising. Since we started franchising in 2006 or 2007, we only had 11 franchisees,” Escalona told the BusinessMirror.

Since Fruit Magic opened in 1993, it took on a conservative growth plan in terms of the number of outlets and currently has close to 50 stores only, mostly in Metro Manila.

Now, Escalona said Fruit Magic will use franchising as an expansion tool, also in support of the entrepreneurship program of the Philippine Franchise Association, where he sits as one of the board of directors.

“If I could expand up to 50 new stores up to next year, we will have no problem because we have the experience. But the expansion will now be in the outskirts,” Escalona said.

To jump start this expansion binge, Fruit Magic lowered its franchise cost from P750,000 to only P285,000 at the just concluded Franchise Asia Philippines 2012 at the SMX Convention Center as a promotion.

At the four-day expo, Escalona said he managed to close 17 deals with possible franchisees.

He is also in discussion with a foreign businessmen,who currently has other business interests in the country, for a multi-store franchising package. The prospective foreign partner is interested in opening Fruit Magic stores in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Aside from adding more stores, Escalona said Fruit Magic will also have new concoctions that will broaden its market base. Currently, Fruit Magic is focused on the mid- to high-end market.