Game of Trends: Manila’s Eating Habits and Marketing Trends

You know what one thing is that Filipinos are very good at? Following trends. While some look at it as poor character, it clearly has its own pros and cons. Sure, following trends can be so dictating that it tapers a person’s personality or identity, but one has to recognize that trends are also the bloodline for some industries. Fashion, for one, doesn’t take trends lightly. In fact, it directs the industry’s course. Another industry that doesn’t take trends too lightly is the food industry.

Game of Trends: Manila's Eating Habits and Marketing Trends

We have all witnessed the fast-paced trends the food industry has been gracing — from everything matcha-flavored to s’mores to food parks! It’s very tricky to follow trends, though. Anything about the food business is pretty tricky. This is why Pinoy Eats World creator JJ Yulo jokingly took pity on anyone who is part of the food industry and stalled anyone who took interest in joining the industry because it’s a crazy world to be in.

Fortunately, we have a long list of pioneers, experts, and leaders that are well-versed in the food scene and in marketing. With the winning tandem of Zomato and PLDT, some of these pioneers and experts shared their insights and experiences with food entrepreneurs and restaurant operators. This conclave of restaurateurs also checked up on Manila’s eating habits and trends clamored by the Filipino palate during “Game of Trends”.

Game of Trends: Manila's Eating Habits and Marketing Trends

If you’re in the food business or are thinking about entering the scene, here are some great and worthwhile pieces of advice for you.

4. Do your part in the industry.

The gathering talked about everything a restaurateur might be curious about all the way down to food waste. Food waste has never been part of the discourse, but always has and always will be a heavy issue. Angelo Comsti, Editor in Chief of F&B Report, openly talked about solutions and remedies to counter food waste by focusing on the small things we tend to overlook, like food waste and menu design, which are detrimental factors when it comes to ordering food. He ended with a note to everyone saying: “Do your part in the industry”. It isn’t all about just managing and operating your food business; it’s about contributing to the industry, as well.

Game of Trends: Manila's Eating Habits and Marketing Trends

3. Know your target market.

Aside from following trends, Filipinos tend to lean towards their emotions. This is why most of our commercials and teleseryes hook on the Filipino audience’s feelings or empathy. I’m sure you’ve noticed that our films never do well when they don’t involve love. That’s why you need to invest in your target market and take the right steps to win the audience over. Understanding the Filipino’s taste is key. So, what is the Filipino taste?

Game of Trends: Manila's Eating Habits and Marketing Trends

Game of Trends: Manila's Eating Habits and Marketing Trends

2. Know the trends.

What has the Filipino palate been yearning for the past year? What are the trends Filipinos follow the most? The unexpected adoration for Filipino cuisine. Last year, Korean and Japanese food topped the most searched cuisines on the Zomato app. This year, I guess we’ve come to appreciate more of our roots and our own distinct flavors. We’ve also come to appreciate our greens, now that healthy food is taking over the food industry. Chef Meg Victorino of Del Monte Philippines acknowledged this, reporting that consumers have become conscious about their health.

Game of Trends: Manila's Eating Habits and Marketing Trends

Thanks to Zomato, restaurant owners now have the right info to tweak their menus or innovate from scratch to keep up with Filipino eating habits.

Zomato has also helped millions of users spend less of their time thinking about where to eat. Now, they’ve come to the rescue, helping patrons of their app with table bookings— providing nothing but convenience to users.

1. Think out of the box.

Lastly, think out of the box. It’s not just about following trends; it’s making your own mark and by creating a difference by starting a new trend. Author and food creative JJ Yulo left some fresh ideas to ponder on:

  • Off cut meats, which are often neglected, are just as useful as some of the more familiar cuts— don’t put them to waste.
  • Think regionally. If you’re into Filipino food, look into the different and unique flavors our regional food can offer.

RELATED: The Power of Pen 7 Regional Food Convergence 2

  • Now that we’re talking about regions, get out of Manila and bring your food to a wider audience by branching out to provinces. Branching out means getting the best of both worlds: a wider audience and a good source for local ingredients.
  • Finally, invest in the Filipino chef (the “the” surely makes it a heavier call to all owners).

Game of Trends: Manila's Eating Habits and Marketing TrendsIn an industry tight in competition, it was timely to host a gathering to unite and help one another, to know which trends to follow, to get the right guidance from experts, and to learn from each other to deliver only the best food and service to fellow Pinoy foodies.

Which trends are your favorites? What were some of your takeaways? Share them in the comments section!