The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), prepares local companies to get more export deals in the global private label market during IFEX Philippines from May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila.


“Under the Grocers Exchange [G-Mart] Program, Philippine companies will be able to take advantage of the major developments and growing preference toward private label brands in the global retail industry,” Citem Executive Director Clayton Tugonon said.


The G-Mart Program is a premium business matching platform that seeks to connect Philippines manufacturers of private-label food products to international retail giants and top grocers to create business development opportunities worldwide.


It started in 2013 and continued in the 2015 edition of IFEX Philippines, attracting big names in the retail industry, such as Dollar, El Corte Inglés, E-Mart, Emke, Harrods, Metfood, Sogo, Sysco, Takashimaya, Wal-Mart and Woolworths.


For its third edition, the program is going to put more emphasis on the business-matching and knowledge upgrading aspect by providing a unique process of exclusively arranged one-on-one meetings and business activities, as well as a seminar in one-on-one critiquing with a private-label expert.


Top companies that have already confirmed their participation are Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc., Sagrex Foods Inc., Marigold Manufacturing Corp. (Mama Sita’s), Ngosiok Marketing, Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co. Inc., Magic Melt Foods Inc. and Fruits of Life Inc.


These companies were carefully selected and primed to meet with the leading retail chain operators from around the globe. They have an excellent reputation and have been in the exporting business for at least two years. More important, they carry certifications for the global-export market such as BRC, Fair Trade, GMP/cGMP, HACCP, Halal, ISO, Kosher, Organic and US-FDA.


“The G Mart Program is a very promising platform for local companies to gain more knowledge on the current retail trends and meet prospective business associates that will help them gauge their potential as a company entering into the private label industry,” Tugonon said.


In 2016 Euromonitor International said the private-label market has already grown into a $350- billion food industry with 54 percent of its global sales coming from Western European countries, such as Germany, France and Switzerland. Japan and the US are among the non-European countries in the top 10 private-label market in the report.


On the food sectors, the Euromonitor said organic and natural health options are also currently dominated by private-label products that occupy 83 percent of the market compared to brands (17 percent). In developed markets, private labels have become an essential component of consumers’ shopping baskets.


In addition, Euromonitor’s Global Consumer Trends Survey of 2013 indicated 89 percent of shoppers buy private-label products. More than half of all respondents (56 percent) said their level of private-label purchases had remained the same over the previous 12 months.


Private-label growth was driven by factors such as the need for shoppers to cut costs during the economic downturn, the expansion of large grocery retailers and the development of more sophisticated private label lines that command higher prices.


IFEX Philippines is organized by the Citem with support from the Department of Agriculture.