Sugar shortage hits sari-sari stores and carinderias



Sari-sari store and carinderia owners appealed to the government to ease the sugar shortage, which they say poses a threat to their livelihood.

In the past few weeks, sari-sari and carinderia vendors have already noticed the dwindling delivery of stocks of beverages, particularly soft drinks.

“What used to be about P1,500 sales in soft drinks has become only P600 in the past few days because there is nothing to sell because there is no delivery of stocks,” Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners (PASCO) members told the BusinessMirror on Thursday. 

The members underscored that this is equivalent to a decline of almost 75 percent in their sales among the small sari-sari stores and carinderia.

“This is because there are no stocks and the delivery of each product is being fairly distributed just so every store can still receive. There was also a large increase in the price of sugar in the market, that’s why store owners are having difficulty in terms of raising their prices,” the PASCO members said. 

Since some suppliers have imposed price increases and because their deliveries have slowed down, the members said they experienced a gradual decline in their sales.

“Our sales really slowed down because we didn’t have a stock of soft drinks because the suppliers couldn’t deliver anything. The slowdown in the delivery of soft drinks has affected our sales because this product is our best seller,” the PASCO members told the BusinessMirror. 

For her part, PASCO President Cristina A. Constantino said in a statement, “Recently, there are also some wholesalers who say that we can expect that it will take three months or more that they will not be able to deliver enough soft drinks and other beverages.” 

As a sector that has been badly affected by the pandemic, 57.6 percent of the PASCO members were forced to close down their stores in 2020 while 32.8 percent remained non-operational in 2021, said Constantino.  

She added that majority of the members temporarily lost their source of income while some decided to use what’s left of their profit just to provide for their family’s needs.

In 2022, when the stringent lockdowns were no longer in place and paved the way for more mobility in the country, Constantino said the PASCO members have slowly recovered and regained their sales. 

However, when the sugar shortage came into the picture recently, Constantino said this is  another problem for them since soft drinks and other beverages form a huge chunk of their members’ sales.

With this, the group of sari-sari store and carinderia owners are urging the government to immediately address the issue of sugar shortage as it has badly affected their livelihood. 

“The lack of products to sell to our customers has a really big impact on our stores’ revenue and our livelihood,” said Constantino in a statement on Thursday. 

“Therefore, we would like to convey our situation to the government and hopefully, a solution could be made as soon as possible to address the insufficient supply of soft drinks caused by the shortage of sugar,” added Constantino. 

Last Tuesday, Coca-Cola Beverage Philippines Inc., ARC Refreshments Corp. and Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI), the country’s major bottling companies, issued a joint statement confirming that they are facing a shortage of premium refined sugar, a key ingredient in manufacturing their top products including soft drinks. 

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