As inflation cools, optimism rises | Inquirer Business

As inflation cools, optimism rises

By: - Business Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 05:22 AM January 29, 2024

With inflation finally coming down from multi-year highs, local businesses that saw growth stifled by soaring prices and high interest rates can now afford to be more optimistic about growth prospects in 2024.

The Marcos administration has indeed set the tone with the National Economic and Development Authority targeting growth this year of between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent.

Irwin Lee

Irwin Lee

Irwin Lee, president and CEO of Universal Robina Corp., projected that pressure on household budgets should ease with inflation now creeping back into the government’s target range of 2 to 4 percent, from a sizzling 8.7 percent at the start of 2023.


Decelerating inflation combined with less fear over COVID-19 as it becomes endemic and more muted in its effects should lead to more buoyant consumer spending, which is crucial for snack foods and beverage manufacturers such as URC, a member of the Gokongwei Group.


“Younger people in particular are aiming to live their lives to the fullest. We hope that, through our products, we can provide those small moments of joy and continue to delight everyone with good food choices,” Lee tells the Inquirer.

Hubert Young

Hubert Young

Hubert Young, president of UCC Coffee Philippines, is just as excited about what 2024 has to offer, particularly in its niche in the coffee space.

The Philippines, after all, is the second-largest consumer of coffee in Asia, with coffee drinkers enjoying an average of three cups a day.

“This robust coffee culture has paved the way for a significant uptick in the number of coffee shops across the country. The appeal of a well-crafted cup of coffee, coupled with the ambiance and community these establishments provide, has created a compelling proposition for consumers,” says Young.

Growing market demand

To take advantage of the growing market demand, Young says UCC is poised to launch a range of new products, from instant coffee products to ready-to-drink coffee.

It will also add to its single-serve, drip bag line and expand its roast and ground coffee products. At the same time, it will continue to expand its UCC coffee shop network and Allegro Beverage equipment dealers and outlets to areas outside of Metro Manila.


“We are excited about the prospects that 2024 has to offer. UCC is strategically positioned among the leading brands of coffee in the market, and we are confident to offer an end-to-end service for coffee shops and coffee enthusiasts,” he says.

“Our commitment to delivering exceptional quality and a distinct coffee experience aligns with the Filipinos evolving preferences. As we anticipate further expansion in the market, we are confident in our ability to capture the hearts and palates of discerning consumers,” Young adds.

Jasper Ong

Jasper Ong

Jasper Ong, president and CEO of Hanabishi Appliances, is just as excited about the possibilities that the new year brings.

But at the same time, Ong wants to make sure that the leading appliance brand is prepared to take on the challenges that will inevitably crop up throughout the year.

“At Hanabishi, we always begin the year with optimism, but we are also steadfast in preparing for challenges that may arise,” Ong says, “As the most recent years have taught us, it is important to not only focus on growth and opportunities, but to be proactive as well, to learn how to adapt to the changing needs of the market so that your business will continue to thrive,” Ong says.

In the small appliances sector, Ong says he expects consumers this year to go beyond just functionality and price, thus the need for Hanabishi to continue to evolve to meet these changing preferences.

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“While consumers will still go for quality and affordable pricing, they will also want products that appeal to their aesthetics, interests and personality,” Ong says.

TAGS: economic outlook, Inflation

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