BACOLOD’s famous pasalubong brand Merzci has set foot in Cebu, a market the owners believe will further boost the brand’s image as it captures the booming tourism market.
CM & Sons Food Products Inc., the company behind Merzci officially opened on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, its 63rd store branch along Colon St. in Cebu City.
The company also announced it is building a pasalubong factory in Mandaue City next year to meet the local demand and to produce items that have shorter shelf life such as the Napoleones.
Jonathan Manuel Lo, president and chief executive officer, said their entry into Cebu is a strategic move on the back of strong inquiries for distribution.
He said the planned warehouse and staff house in Barangay Pakna-an in Mandaue City, which will be built in January 2020, will also serve the Mindanao requirements.
“In Bacolod, there is a limited number of vessels going to Mindanao. We believe Cebu is the gateway for us to reach more markets in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.
Merzci has branches in the islands of Negros, Panay and Cebu.
After opening on Colon St., Lo said they are eyeing to open six more full store branches in Cebu next year.
“We are still looking for locations in Cebu to sell our products,” he said.
Among the brand’s best-selling items are biscocho, cashew-topped butterscotch, piaya, barquillos and tarts. With the operation of its factory next year, the company will start selling the Napoleones.
“Buyers coming in our Colon store are always asking for Napoleones,” he said.
Lo also expressed the company’s interest to enter the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. He said the robust growth of tourism, particularly the rise in the number of domestic travelers, offers a huge potential for their business to grow here.
“We are eyeing to expand Merzci’s reach nationwide in five years time,” he said, adding that the company has an existing warehouse in Luzon to supply the growing requirements of their Luzon-based distributors.
Merzci, which now has 1,600 employees, started off as a bakery shop in 1995. (KOC)