Pinoys spend more on hygiene than food during disasters: research

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2022 12:35 PM

 A sari-sari store. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
A sari-sari store. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- Filipinos tend to spend more on hygiene and self-care essentials than food during disasters and emergencies, according to research. 

Data analytics platform Packworks discovered that Filipinos bought more shampoo and conditioner in sari-sari stores during the aftermath of typhoon Odette in December 2021 (Leyte), the Taal Volcano eruption last March (Batangas/Cavite), and the Abra earthquake last July (Abra).

It noted that 18% of sari-sari stores' sales in these areas went to hair care products, followed by laundry supplies (16%) and the "others" category (15%), which includes oral and body care items, beverages, and canned goods.

Breakfast items like tea, coffee, and creamer placed fourth with 14%, followed by cooking necessities (13%), oats and cereals (13%), and pasta and noodles (11%).

The Packworks Sari IQ study also showed an increase of more than 50% in volume in the hair care category during the Abra earthquake and the Taal Volcano eruption, compared to normal days. 

But when typhoon Odette hit Leyte, spending in noodles and cooking essentials rose to almost 60% in the area after the disaster. Hair care products trailed behind at 11% in average consumer spending, with pasta and noodles at 15%.

"The Philippines is a regular target of natural disasters because of its location at the Pacific Ring of Fire. Residents at the epicenter opt to buy their immediate necessities from a nearby sari-sari store rather than go to big supermarkets," Andres Montiel, Packworks' head of data, said in a statement.

"The analysis on the sari-sari stores becomes more valuable to track what items are deemed to be essential upon the occurrence of such natural disasters. This can be helpful in demand planning and product seasonality on the brand principal's end," he added.

The data sets were generated using Packworks' business intelligence tool Sari IQ, which covers nearly 200,000 sari-sari stores nationwide. 

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