Sugar marketing

Hitting the End Users

CONFED will launch a market research project that will empower its association members to assess the potential of local retail markets for their sugar. The findings will aid members, associations or cooperatives, who wish to vertically integrate their businesses from purely wholesale to hitting the end-users. Consequently, having a year-round revenue stream improves cashflow position of sugar farmers. Where before they relied solely on income during the six-month milling season, by breaking into the retail market, CONFED members are able to give their sugar farmers a steady flow of revenues 52 weeks in a year.

Retail market trends augur well for CONFED associations to bring their sugar closer to the final consumer. The proliferation of member club superstores, like Landers and S&R, welcome larger packaging sizes. The growing movement to “buy local” gives preference to locally sourced sugar, or those produced by local sugar farmers who belong to CONFED association members – the 90% small farmers in the industry’s mix will be a great come-on. And more recently, online food businesses, spurred by the pandemic, have redefined the Filipino population from being a predominantly consumer society to one that shows leanings towards manufacturing and entrepreneurship.

The research project will identify end-users, particularly small and medium- size enterprises, distributors, retail outlets, local independent stores, public markets, and supermarkets, mapping these out in regions where there are CONFED association members, and estimating volumes needed. Information on buying patterns of these markets will be inputs in developing market, logistic, and finance strategies.

CONFED’s contribution will be the research data, business template, and recommended sales strategies. One of the most crucial information this research project can generate are purchasing behaviors of retail outlets, from packaging preferences to distribution services, from inventory orders to payment schedules. CONFED will draw up selling processes with identified national-chain supermarkets to make it easy for association members to start the enterprise.

While this business model introduces the sugar farmer to the more complex retail environment, the sugar farmer is spared from the intricacies of actual retail work. It is the association who owns the brand, secures business licenses, manages the production line, and deals with selling outlets. As a result, the association likewise profits from its management service.