Oct. 17, 2016
Rebisco in PANA AdEdge
The Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA) featured Rebisco in the May - August 2016 issue of its official publication - the PANA AdEdge Magazine. It is the first-and-only glossy trade magazine representing and serving the entire community of Philippine-based advertisers, and is considered by many as a valuable source of comprehensive and multidimensional information on industry issues ranging from consumer behaviour, marketing channels, to media trends. With a circulation of 3,000 copies, this trimestral publication is distributed to all PANA member companies, allied associations, colleges and universities, student organizations, and select National Bookstore branches.
 


On the fine line separating the good from the junk, balance is key

By Marlet D. Salazar
 

Rebisco has been a Pinoy household staple for years, its snacks the "go-to" goodies for kids and kids-at-heart alike. But what makes Rebisco among the favorite munchies of the Filipino?

"Food is perhaps one of the greatest expressions of Filipino culture," said Lulu Dela Pena, Marketing Communications Manager of Rebisco. "We love to eat, and eating is a social activity for us."

Rebisco has also had to carefully navigate around the long-accepted notion that the common snack-time fare could be classified as "junk food", and thus, bad for one's health.

The snack-maker begs to disagree. "Rebisco products are made with the consumer's best interest in mind, explained Lulu Dela Pena. "We develop products that are sweet for people who love sweets; snacks that are more filling for those who go for heavier snacks; snacks that are more savory than sweet, and; snacks that have higher levels of Vitamin C or zinc, etc."
 
Balance is the keyword when it comes to creating new snacks, especially those that would appeal to kids.

"There are a lot of balancing and compromises that become necessary," she said. "In the process, the most important attribute that we do not sacrifice is taste."

The food company knows the Filipino palate well enough that it knows the sweet-spicy taste combination that's sure to make its cash registers ring.

Rebisco is behind the successful Rebisco Sandwich crackers with cream filling, its first snack fare developed more than 50 years ago and was initially called Krema. Rebisco Sandwich comes in six flavors.

One knows there's an open Hansel Sandwich lying around nearby just by getting a whiff of its distinctive aroma. Hansel Sandwich was introduced in the 1980s as just plain crackers. Interestingly, the filling was added not to add flavor, but to avoid the crackers from easily crumbling within its packaging. This proved to be an accidental success, consumers loved it, sales shot up and the rest is history.

Fudgee Barr represents Rebisco's successful attempt to produce cakes that are more filling than crackers. The taste and the texture appeal to kids, and has been a good option for parents to give to their kid as "baon".

Filipinos like munching on something when watching TV or when having small talk with family and friends. Dingdong was introduced in the 1990s as part of Rebisco's "kutkutins". The company took advantage by offering these snacks in individual packs. The foil packaging is said to guarantee "freshness".

"Dingdong is one of our best-selling products in the nuts and seeds category," shared Lulu Dela Pena.

"Taking these things into consideration, we develop quality snack products that capture the evolving tastes and preferences of the Pinoy market, without putting a strain on their budgets," she said.

The company is known for its affordable snacks that come in a variety of sizes, helping it capture different markets. Most of its products are distributed nationwide, and can be found even in the most remote areas of the country.

"Delighting consumers is key," said Lulu Dela Pena. "We don't sacrifice quality over volume."

Rebisco considers itself a "responsible manufacturer" because it takes into consideration the health of its consumers, while not leaving out taste and affordability.