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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | editor, Philippines

Rebisco wins at Asian Export Awards 2020

Doowee Donut’s popularity in Myanmar has created a winning export product for Rebisco.

The success of a new product depends on how the company responds to a need. In the case of the Republic Biscuit Corporation (Rebisco), the inspiration to launch a new soft-baked snack is in response to the consumer’s desire to enjoy donuts anytime, anywhere (accessibility and affordability).

Thus, the much-loved Doowee Donut came about. After its successful launch in the Philippines, the product has built an equally impressive presence in foreign markets. For this accomplishment, Rebisco won an Asian Export Award 2020 Snack category in Large Corporate division.

Doowee Donut is conveniently packed in foil packaging and comes in milk chocolate, white chocolate and strawberry flavours. Rebisco expects the snack to become popular not only in overseas Filipino communities but also among the mainstream population of countries where the product is sold.

Rebisco delivered Doowee Donut to Myanmar in 2017 through the company’s Vietnam factory. Rebisco first invested in understanding Burmese consumers’ behaviour so it can identify the right consumer segment and meet their needs by employing a pragmatic strategy— that of making the product affordable by having its size more suitable for the younger market. Additional promotional activities were also mounted to generate interest and trial among this market

Furthermore, the right stores and outlets in Myanmar were identified and the products were made available in display boxes and printed bags on the stores. Once the distribution volume had been established, the company introduced a new set of packaging with Burmese labels.

Overall, Rebisco’s key achievements are the following:

  • Growing the export sales of Doowee Donut 44 times (CAGR of 72%) during the period 2013-2019 and exporting the product to 22 countries
  • Successfully positioning the product in the children’s market, resulting in 13 times sales growth in 2017-2019 and causing the Q1-Q3 2020 sales to surpass the total sales last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby making Myanmar the top export market of Rebisco
  • Enabling Doowee Donut to be sourced from the Philippines and Vietnam to ensure supply flexibility, especially during unexpected situations like the pandemic.

From being a neighborhood bakeshop established in 1963 in San Juan, Metro Manila, Rebisco has become an international exporter whose products are enjoyed by consumers in Asia and Oceania, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

For almost six decades, Rebisco has capitalized on its wide distribution network, market research, technology, and product development to contribute to the Philippine economy and society. Its core values include not only excellence and innovation but also customer satisfaction, commitment, and teamwork. Its vision includes exploring new markets; ensuring the availability of products in all distribution channels; developing the capability of people, systems, and the work environment; and constantly upgrading facilities to achieve international standards of quality and cost-effectiveness.

At present, the business operations are complemented by the Rebisco Foundation’s healthcare and education initiatives for the benefit of disadvantaged families in the communities where the company’s factories operate.

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning product:

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