MEATWORLD International, Inc. launched its first Mrs. Garcia’s Meatshop physical store along Congressional Ave. in Quezon City.

“This is our newest channel of distribution which is our community meat shop. It’s a neighborhood meat shop that emulates a supermarket-type of grocery experience. As you walk in, there will be skilled butchers and merchandisers to sell you the meats that you want. We carry various meat products from beef, pork, chicken and some seafood products,” Bernadette M. Lee said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“Recently we’ve established our distribution in territories like Visayas and Mindanao and we are a supplier to a lot of hotels and restaurants. Our core business is retailing and distribution of meat products,” she added.

Over the pandemic, the firm had to adapt to the situation and establish an online shop and work with e-commerce.

“We do have our presence in a lot of online platforms. We’ve launched our stores in Shopee and Lazada. We have more projects in the pipeline, the end goal is to bring our meat products to our consumers wherever they are,” Business Unit Head Miguel Macaalay said.

This year, the firm said it experienced a primarily flat performance. “It’s a flat year for us. No growth but we’re flat. It’s the same performance as last year,” Ms. Lee said.

She said that inflationary pressures have driven prices up and resulted in lower consumption.

“Prices have gone up by about 20%. We had a situation in the Philippines, which was the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. The hog herd has been affected, which means most commercial farms have not been producing pork because the herd is sick. What the government has done is that it allowed us to import more, but with more imports, it has affected the cost of materials,” she said.

“In the fresh meat category, because prices are up, the consumption has gone down quite a bit. We see that about 15% of consumption has gone down,” she added.

The firm is hopeful that there will be more revenge buying with the incoming holiday season.

“But everything is still a wait-and-see situation, especially now that foreign exchange has gone up. The working class has a limited budget,” she said.

“We feel that this is temporary because protein, particularly pork and chicken, is an integral part of the Filipino diet,” she added.

Meatworld is also planning on expanding to other areas across the country.

“We intend to continue because we know the market will bounce next year therefore, we need to be present in most supermarkets,” she said.

“There are gaps in the market, which means there are a lot of locations not being served by the supermarkets, so we’d like to tap on those,” she added.

The firm also said that it is offering franchising for its Mrs. Garcia’s Meatshops. It will cost around P3-4 million to operate and own a fully functioning meat shop.

“We guarantee all our products are the highest of quality and adhere to the strictest standards in the industry. All franchises can ensure all products are safe, high quality, and affordable,” Meatworld Marketing Manager Sheila Padilla added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson