According to Luz Barra, commercial director of consumer knowledge and insights firm, Kantar Worldpanel, Filipino consumers could be understood by analyzing their product preference(s) for beauty, hygiene, health, and convenience.
72% of Filipinas admitted that they would like to improve their hair and change their complexion, supporting the idea that Filipinas care about their looks. Their preference for beauty products increased the purchase growth of 12.6% in hair conditioners and 6.3% in hand and body lotion from June 2009 to June 2013. The increase in whitening body lotion sales compared to non-whitening lotions is also due to the Filipino consumer’s definition of being fair as being beautiful.
Filipino consumers also prefer healthier and more “on-the-go” food. Along with the promotion of fun runs, exercise, and other physical activities, Filipinos have adopted a healthier lifestyle based on their food choices. For the past 5 years, an increase in sales was seen in cereals, yoghurt, canned vegetables, and biscuits, and also with beverages like soy milk, bottled water, energy drinks, fruit/vegetable juices, and powdered milk.
Aside from healthier options, consumers also prefer fast, easy, and convenient choices like ready-to-drink beverages, quick and easy meal purchases like instant noodles and canned meat, and choices for easy cooking, including meal flavorings and seasonings.
Consumers are also concerned about their hygiene. Consumers purchase more germ-protection products like alcohols and hand sanitizers and, in addition, also include personal hygiene products (panty liners, razors, sanitary pads) in their grocery lists.
Filipino consumers behave in a certain manner when it comes to purchasing products in the market. The top reasons that influence the purchases of Filipino consumers include brand loyalty, media exposure, and the value of money. Online shopping has also emerged as a new trend among shoppers.
In 2013, a Nielsen online survey on Global Consumers reported that 77% of Filipino respondents said that they already have preferred brands and types of products before buying. Consumers seldom switch to different brands and often remain with their favorite shampoo (63%), deodorant (56%), and coffee (53%). Even if they were presented with a promotional offer from other brands, Filipinos usually stick to their preferred brand.
Although Filipino consumers observe brand loyalty, a Nielsen survey on Global New Product Innovation in 2015 revealed that, recently, Filipinos are among the consumers worldwide who often try new products when grocery shopping, and prefer brands with fresh product development. In the 2015 survey, 68% of the Filipino respondents said that they bought a new product during their last grocery trip. 78% prefer to buy new products, while 77% like it when manufacturers offer new product options, as a brand name assures quality and credibility.
A report by Pancake House Inc. states that Filipinos are open to new brands, but they are also very fickle. According to Bernadette Lee, COO of Pancake House Inc., Filipino consumers are not difficult when introducing a new brand, but it is hard maintaining their interest with the product. In the words of Ms. Lee, the only battle in introducing new brands to consumers is the constant “battle to sustain attention and loyalty.”