MANILA - The biggest-selling product in 7-Eleven stores in the Philippines is one of the essentials - water, according to country boss Jose Victor Paterno.
Magnum ice cream bars also signaled the shift to more premium products in convenience stores. At its launch in 2012, Magnum sold for P50, double the price of regular brands.
"I think in the last 5 years, we've seen a trend towards premiumization. Before, we couldn't sell a rice meal for over P50," said Paterno, president and CEO of Philippine Seven Corp.
Rice meals at 7-Eleven can now be sold for as much as P120, Paterno said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.
"There's a move towards affluence, even if its just occasional," he said.
Business process outsourcing is a key growth driver. Paterno said Philippine Seven needs only 3,000 people in a BPO area to open a store, compared to the 20,000 people needed in a "regular" area.
"They really overperform because they come down every break. Their breaks are short. It’s a stressful job they need to treat themselves," he said.
Paterno said the company was "at the pace we want" to reach its target of operating 10,000 7-Eleven stores, buoyed by the robust economy.