Tuesday , June 19, 2018

Berry drink firm builds Cavite plant

Cebu-based Organique Inc., the company behind Organique Açai Berry, is building a manufacturing plant in Silang, Cavite in anticipation of an increased demand for health and wellness products in the Philippines and other Asian countries.

This is the company’s first manufacturing plant in the Philippines located inside Sterling Industrial Park.

Catherine Salimbangon, the company’s vice president, said the plant will address the company’s product line expansions including powdered beverages, capsules and a planned venture into other types of super fruits that deliver health benefits.

She said they allocated an estimated P150 million to erect the 3,000-square-meter facility.

“We are also setting up the manufacturing facility to provide additional employment here in the Philippines,” said Salimbangon, adding that production of Organique Açai Berry will still be retained in the US.

“This plant will focus on other product lines that we are going to launch very soon. This plant is going to serve high quality natural organic products at a lower cost,” she said.

In 2009, Catherine and her husband Elton put up Organique in Pasadena, California, to manufacture and distribute a health drink based on the so-called super berry acai (pronounced as a-sah-ee) that grows in the Amazon rainforest.

The acai berry fruit is said to contain nutrients like polyphenols that protect the heart, sterols that lower blood pressure, anthocyanins that are beneficial to veins and arteries, and lutein for healthy eyes, among other benefits.

Wellness boom

The couple worked hard to perfect the health drink, aiming not only to suit Filipino taste buds but also to earn an organic seal of approval from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Philippine plant is expected to be operational by May or June this year and will initially hire at least 50 employees.

The Salimbangons’ optimistic stance in business is buoyed by the expanding base of Filipino consumers who are looking after their health and wellness.

“The wellness market in the Philippines is growing. A lot of Filipinos are now focusing on the preventive side and with the information readily available on the internet, awareness of natural approaches has grown,” said Salimbangon. (KOC)