In a country dominated by young households, Filipinos generally have a pragmatic yet sophisticated view when it comes to their beauty product priorities. They have always associated beauty and hygiene with dignity and self-respect. This explains why even in times of distress, Filipinos always set aside a portion of their wallet for their beauty and hygiene needs.

Aside from whitening soaps and creams, Filipinos care most about their crowning glory — the hair. In fact, ERP, fintech, and data analytics platform Packworks shared that spending on shampoo and hair conditioner grew amid the occurrence of three natural disasters such as Typhoon Odette in December 2021 (Leyte), Taal volcanic eruption in March 2022 (Batangas/Cavite), and Abra earthquake (Abra) in June 2022.

Data from Packworks Sari IQ showed that after the onslaught of the three aforementioned natural disasters, 18% of the average total sales volume of sari-sari stores were hair care products. Laundry supplies and tools saw the second highest portion of average sales with 16%, while breakfast items such as tea, coffee and creamer, and oats and cereals covered 14% and 13% of the total average sales, respectively.

The remaining total average sales of other sari-sari store items were evenly spread out to other fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) such as ready-to-eat beverages, snacks, instant noodles, canned goods, cooking essentials, and body and oral care items.

Meanwhile, the hair care category recorded a more than 50% sharp increase in volume when an earthquake struck in North Luzon (Abra Earthquake) compared to normal days.

The hair care category also experienced uplifts of more than 50% during the period of the Taal Volcano unrest around the last week of March 2022.

However, it was revealed that there was a 50% to 60% increase in food spending, specifically noodles and cooking essentials, after Typhoon Odette hit Leyte compared to the past 7 days of normal weather conditions. In fact, hair care products trailed behind at 11% in average consumer spending, following pasta and noodles at 15%.

The data sets were generated using Sari IQ, a business intelligence tool created by Packworks that gives retailers data analytics on consumer behavior and spending habits of people in a locality who purchase their needs in sari-sari stores. Data is generated from Packworks’ wide network of almost 200,000 sari-sari stores nationwide which contains insightful information on consumer spending and can be customized to create an analysis for sari-sari store categories that incur an uplift when compared to before a natural disaster occurs.

“The Philippines is a regular target of natural disasters because of its location at the Pacific Ring of Fire. Residents at the epicenter opt to buy their immediate necessities from a nearby ‘sari-sari’ store rather than go to big supermarkets,” said Andres Montiel, Packworks’ Head of Data.

“The analysis on the sari-sari stores becomes more valuable to track what items are deemed to be essential upon the occurrence of such natural disasters. This can be helpful in demand planning and product seasonality on the brand principal’s end,” he added.

About Packworks

Packworks is a startup company that provides a business-to-business (B2B) platform that is easy to use, has low bandwidth, and light footprint that will allow sari-sari store owners to become more efficient in managing their business. Founded in 2018 and started as a solution for multinational companies in the Philippines to connect with neighborhood stores, the platform has now transformed into a way out of poverty for the millions of sari-sari store owners across the Philippines. Packworks empowers the sari-sari stores through scalable and accessible technology, with its team composed of dedicated developers, programmers, and technicians that work to put the power back into the hands of the people at the heart of Filipino communities by providing them digital opportunities previously only available to big companies. By bringing technology-based solutions to one million Filipino sari-sari stores, Packworks is driving toward a more progressive, connected, and inclusive Philippines.

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