‘Bready to Serve’ for 25 years and more: Gardenia embraces sustainability in serving Filipino consumers beyond baking
Masarap kahit walang palaman. For many Filipinos, this tagline is as nostalgic as one’s childhood… Memories of enjoying your bread’s freshly baked aroma during a hearty breakfast with the family. Memories of holidays, birthdays and other special occasions where your pancit, spaghetti or ham wouldn’t be complete without a slice or two of your favorite Classic White Bread – soft and creamy in every bite.
For many, these core memories made the tagline what it is today – a reminder of good quality, of trust in our go-to bread brand, and of the traditions we’d like to carry on, now that we have families of our own.
For Gardenia Philippines, “masarap kahit walang palaman” is more than just a tagline. It is one of the important drivers of growth which allowed the company to expand its business; to become the leading bread manufacturer in the country; and more importantly, it has allowed the company to serve Filipinos in every way it can – beyond the bread, beyond the supermarkets, and beyond the walls of its factories.
Serving Filipinos beyond baking
Since 1998, when the company first started its operations in the country, Gardenia has introduced several forms of baking innovation to produce world-class products – changing the local bread scene for the better. Aside from our favorite classic white bread, Gardenia has also come out with delicious and nutritious varieties to keep up with the changing needs of consumers – from its high fiber whole wheat bread, flavored loaves, buns and snacks, artisanal pastries, community bakery, and even its own coffee, noodle and spread.
Gardenia has also maximized its resources to make sure that its products are always accessible to consumers, in as many cities and provinces as possible, no matter the season.
But more than bringing world-class breads closer to many Filipino families, Gardenia has always aspired to do more. As Gardenia’s values as a food company are deeply entwined with serving consumers, Gardenia, along with its employees, has also embraced an important mission of giving back to Filipinos in every way it can: by enriching lives through the company’s CSR programs; by promoting wellness and healthy lifestyles to Filipinos of all ages; and by committing to sustainable practices toward a greener planet.
Enriching lives by reaching out to communities
For more than two decades now, Gardenia Philippines remains committed in giving back to Filipinos in need. Always dedicated to enriching lives through the company’s CSR programs.
Its Gardenia Nutrition Assistance Program (or GNAP), for instance, is one of the building blocks of Gardenia’s outreach program. To help improve the nutritional condition of public elementary students in the country, consequently improving their performance in class, Gardenia conducts regular donations to elementary schools through feeding activities. Just this 2023, as schools have gradually returned to face-to-face classes, Gardenia has donated more than 22,000 units of products to 900 public elementary students in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Beyond the schools, Gardenia is always “bready” to serve through its Daily Bread Donation Program that supports several beneficiaries including orphanages, charitable organizations, frontliners and community pantries – where Gardenia aspires to assist in sustaining the food needs of different communities through its nutritious breads. This 2023, Gardenia Philippines donated more than 990,000 packs of bread to 1,355 organizations and partner beneficiaries in several areas in the country including NCR, CALABARZON, Bulacan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, La Union, Catanduanes and Albay in Luzon as well as Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and General Santos in the VisMin regions.
Meanwhile, every October, Gardenia celebrates World Bread Month with its very own Happy Bread Day, a tradition that the company started in 2011. To make this occasion even more meaningful, Gardenia invites its plant tour guests to participate in I Shared Bread, which is a month-long “bread raising” activity where visitors are encouraged to donate the G-Locks from their purchased breads in the Gardenia Bread Store. One G-Lock is equivalent to two loaves of bread to be donated by Gardenia to charitable beneficiaries, including orphanages and NGOs. For this year, Gardenia has successfully collected 3,692 G-Locks, equivalent to 7,384 loaves that will be donated to Gardenia’s chosen charities in Iloilo and General Santos City.
In times of crisis, Gardenia utilizes its resources and fleet of delivery trucks, and partners with different organizations through its Quick Response Disaster Relief program to provide immediate food relief to families affected by fire and natural calamities such as typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. This 2023 alone, Gardenia Philippines has distributed more than 42,000 loaves to approximately 20,000 families, including 2000 individuals who were affected by the volcanic activities of Mayon Volcano, as well as typhoons and 27 incidents of fire.
Promoting wellness and healthier lifestyles to Filipinos
Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) on Good Health and Well-being, Gardenia’s mission to serve beyond baking is most evident in the company’s programs on nutrition education, with the goal of aiding Filipinos of all ages in embracing healthier eating habits and lifestyles.
Under the company’s Corporate Wellness Movement, Gardenia’s team of registered nutritionist-dietitians conduct free webinars and nutrition counseling for employees from the private sector and different government offices and agencies, aiding them, whether they need to jumpstart or to refine their health and wellness goals. This 2023, more than 25,000 employees from over 136 offices participated in these lectures and counselling sessions.
Beyond the offices, Gardenia’s wellness program also reaches the barangays through the Train the Trainors program. Also facilitated by Gardenia’s team of nutritionists, these sessions tap the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) by providing them webinars and training materials about understanding nutrition labels and healthy meal preparation, after which the BNS can share and teach to their barangay constituents. This 2023, Gardenia has extended nutrition education to more than 286 Barangay Nutrition Scholars in over 190 barangays.
Meanwhile, Gardenia’s School Nutri-Tour program emphasizes Gardenia’s passion to go beyond baking by promoting healthy eating habits and healthier lifestyles to Filipinos starting from a young age. A program launched in 2009, Gardenia’s School Nutri-Tour aspires to assist communities thru public and private schools in lowering the prevalence of malnutrition in children. The activity is comprised of informative and interactive lectures administered by Gardenia’s team of registered nutritionist-dietitians. To ensure a fun and memorable learning experience for the students, there are games, exercise activities, and a recipe-making activity using bread where students can participate. Just this 2023, Gardenia Philippines catered to more than 81,000 students from over 213 schools.
Moreover, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, Gardenia conducts a similar program in public schools, known as NKK or Nutrisyon at Kalinisan Para sa Maayos na Kinabukasan. It aims to promote healthy eating, proper handwashing, and caring for the environment through lectures where students can also enjoy free bread samples and a fun meet-and-greet with Gardenia’s mascot, Gardee.
Educating generations of kids through the Gardenia Plant Tour
If you’ve gone to a field trip in Laguna, big are the chances that you have been to Gardenia’s factory and have participated in the company’s educational plant tour. But did you know that the Gardenia Plant Tour is more than just a field trip destination?
Gardenia’s mission to serve consumers beyond baking is also exemplified by these free tours; providing a unique and enjoyable learning experience that can only be acquired outside the four walls of a classroom. Since 2002, more than 4.6 million students have visited Gardenia’s fully-automated bakery plants, witnessing first-hand how their favorite breads are made — untouched by human hands. With this, consumers can enjoy the assurance of the safety and freshness of their go-to Gardenia products. Whether conducted face-to-face or online, the Gardenia Plant Tour also incorporates talks about wellness such as healthy eating, proper handwashing, and values education through fun-filled activities – creating happy memories that are treasured and loved by everyone for many years.
Aspiring for a healthier planet by going green
As part of the company’s commitment to sustainable practices toward a healthier planet, Gardenia carries on programs within the company to actively reduce and better manage the energy and water consumed; and to narrow down the waste generated. The company implements internal measures such as overall monitoring of the company’s energy consumption, regular preventive maintenance of equipment, and the usage of liquefied petroleum gas for major ovens during the baking process. Meanwhile, wastewater is subject to facility treatment before it is released into sewers.
In January 2023, to help minimize the environmental impacts of plastic wastes, Gardenia’s Plastic Collection Drive was launched. This program involves the collection of empty Gardenia plastic packaging and converting them into school chairs, to be donated to schools in need. Last September 2023, Gardenia donated the first batch, comprising of 150 school chairs to Gun-Ob High School in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. These chairs are made from 100% single-use plastics—recycling approximately 4,500 kilos of Gardenia packaging materials. This December, another batch of school chairs will be donated to Cabantian Elementary School in Davao City.
Additionally, Gardenia holds tree planting activities annually bringing 2,000 seedlings every year to help restore our forests. Volunteer employees also participate in coastal clean-up drives in celebration of International Coastal Clean-up Day every September.
Embracing Sustainability at Gardenia
For many years to come, Gardenia will remain committed to embracing sustainability in its mission to serve – of reaching out to communities to ENRICH LIVES; of serving Filipinos BEYOND BAKING; and of aspiring for a healthier planet by GOING GREEN.
With different forms of partnership and collaboration with its employees, consumers, charitable organizations, and several communities, you can rely on Gardenia in making more core memories with you – those that go beyond great-tasting bread. Gardenia will always be “bready” to serve Filipinos in every way it can, for 25 years and beyond.