Marjan Bevk, CEO of Merit International D.O.O., recently visited Manila for a business matching with several Philippine manufacturers for possible sourcing of fast-moving consumer goods and consumer-packed products. To enable this, HallONE of the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) organized a business-to-business sourcing event for Bevk in coordination with the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands.
The event was attended by nine Philippine manufacturers and suppliers of tuna, baby clothes and toys, ladies’ bags and accessories, craft spirits, jams, and preserved fruits. The participants included Alliance Select Foods International, Inc., Foodsphere, Inc., The Fruit Garden, K&R United, Inc., Destileria Limtuaco Co., Inc., Julianne Candice PH, Benjoy, Inc., AADR Arts and Crafts Center, and Beatriz Accessories.
Operating since 1993, Merit International is one of the top importers and distributors of fast-moving consumer goods and non-food goods in the Slovenian market. Among its top products are food, alcoholic drinks, toys, baby and kids’ clothing, car seats and other gears, lady handbags, business bags, backpacks, and suitcases. Merit also represents reputable global brands such as Bacardi, Martini, Grey Goose, Chipita, and Samsonite, among other.
Bevk was particularly interested in the tuna products, citing tuna chunks as very popular in Slovenia. Alliance Select Foods International, Inc. offered different tuna pack styles, which are solids, chunks, flakes, water or brine, sunflower oil, and soya oil, covering more than 300 acclaimed brands in the global food and retail industry. Foodsphere, Inc. also presented its best-selling spicy corned tuna, the first kind in the world.
“It’s the first time I learned about this spicy corned tuna flavor. It’s good that tuna companies in the Philippines are innovative and are trying to offer something new to consumers,” Bevk commented.
Bevk also expressed interest in Destileria Limtuaco’s craft spirits because of the special and distinct ingredients, especially mango and calamansi. “You have good liquors and nice packaging,” Bevk said to Destileria Limtuaco President Olivia Limpe-aw.
Among other craft spirits exhibited by Destileria Limtuaco was the Paradise Mango Rum, which is made from natural Philippine mangoes mixed with high-quality rum. “The rum has already achieved global recognition from wine connoisseurs and that’s also because Philippine mangoes are famous around the world for its delectable taste,” Limpe-aw claimed, which Bevk affirmed.
Bevk inquired about each manufacturer’s current and target markets, product price, production capacity, brand strengths, best-selling products, product-shelf-life, and the capability to adjust to the market entry requirements in Europe. He shared that Slovenes are brand-conscious and very particular with the product packaging.
Currently, Slovenia is the 82nd trading partner and 104th export market of the Philippines. Tuna is the top Philippine export to Slovenia.
“We have an excellent geostrategic position in Europe, with easy access to 500 million inhabitants,” said State Secretary Ales Cantarutti of the Ministry of the Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, who also headed the delegation composed of 14 representatives from 10 companies of different industry sectors.
HallONE is located at the International Trade Center (ITC) Complex, Roxas Boulevard corner Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Pasay City. It is a sourcing venue for features high-quality export products from the Home, Fashion and Food industry sectors. To visit its design-driven venue, contact its secretariat office at telephone number (+632) 831- 2201 local 253/600.