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Beverage company exec: Educating millennials on fruits can help farmers

MANILA, Philippines — For many Filipinos, two things can only be done with tamarind: as candy or as sour soup base in “sinigang.”

Many Filipinos, especially millennials, do not know that tamarind can also be drank as juice, said a beverage company executive.

Likewise, many Filipinos from younger generations no longer know their local fruits such as “siniguelas,” said Gretchen King, Group Product Manager for Filipino beverage label Locally produced by food and beverage company NutriAsia.

King has observed that millennials are becoming more health-conscious and patriotic. Hence, in 2015, the company made Locally to help promote Philippine fruits among the youth as the juice line is made from local fruits sourced from different Philippine regions such tamarind from Batangas, Pangasinan, and Bulacan; calamansi from Isabela, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija; dalandan from Laguna and Mindoro; guyabano from Cebu and Misamis Occidental; pomelo from Davao; and siniguelas from the Negros provinces.

Besides its blended juice drinks, the brand also offers Merci Buco, said to be the first Eco-Certified pure organic coconut water in the Philippines that comes in buco pandan and buco lychee variants.

“Filipino millennials are becoming more patriotic and supportive of local products. They are also growing increasingly aware of their environment and wellness, which is why they look for healthier drink alternatives,” King explained.

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To make millennials more aware of the country’s local fruits, the brand has recently collaborated with mixologist Kalel Demetrio, also known as “Liquid Maestro,” in concocting local fruit juices, which were then served in a fruit truck. While enjoying drinks, millennials were entertained by singer-guitarist Keiko Necesario.

“The fruit truck is our modern take on the ice cream truck, which makes us jump for joy when you see it on the road or hear its bells and music play. We want Filipinos to feel that way but at the same time, celebrating our local fruits and juices, and basically just celebrating being a Pinoy,” King said.

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