Fruitas unfazed by Delta variant, confident of recovery

Published July 22, 2021, 7:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

Fruitas Holdings, Inc. is confident that its business will keep up its 2021 recovery momentum even as new protocols may emerge because of the potential spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 virus.

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said this confidence is rooted in the initiatives implemented since the pandemic and subsequent community quarantines hit the country last year.

“Standing with all Filipinos, we hope and pray that our country is able to avoid the resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak that is now gravely affecting some of our regional neighbors,” said Fruitas President and Chief Executive Officer Lester Yu.

Fruitas Holdings President and CEO Lester Yu

He added that, “We have an obligation to keep our employees safely working so they can provide for their families. We are committed to continue to bring our products to our customers in the safest and most convenient way possible.”

Yu noted that, “The pandemic forced us out of our comfort zone. But we have quickly regrouped. We are continuing to transform Fruitas by relying on our strengths of being nimble, of building brands, and by maximizing the efficiency of our resources and facilities.”

Foremost of these initiatives is the rollout of its community store network to get closer to high-density residential communities and widen its distribution channels.

The number of operating Fruitas community stores currently stands at 74 and is on track to reach 100 by end of the year.

Fruitas said it recognizes that many of its mall-based locations will take time to fully recover but the company will not sit idly by and wait for that to happen.

These community stores are also instrumental in serving as delivery hubs as Fruitas intensifies its efforts to build its online presence, not only through its CocoDelivery service and own website, but also through its major delivery and online partners.

The latest recently opened community stores includes the first Soy & Bean store in the Visayas region, located in One Stop Lagtang, Talisay City, Cebu in addition to the community stores in Cebu City and Lapu Lapu City.

This comes as Fruitas is establishing a processing line to manufacture products in Cebu. The commissary set-up is a precursor for an aggressive expansion of community stores and e-commerce hubs in the Visayas. This will complement the existing production facilities in the Metro Manila.

Fruitas is taking advantage of its own in-house manufacturing capabilities to offer different packaging to allow customers to consume more Fruitas products at home. These include offering frozen Jamaican Patties and SHOU dimsum products, and Sabroso Lechon ready-to-heat viands.

The firm said it continues to assess further enhancements of its product line, including making products more shelf-stable to allow Fruitas to utilize more distribution points.

“We strongly believe our business is now stronger and more capable to withstand the challenges brought about potential new lockdowns and other health safety practices,” said Yu.

 
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