Australia’s biggest supermarket chain Woolworths has expanded its distribution of Filipino products to over 200 of its stores across Australia, in spite of the pandemic, to accommodate the needs of the growing Filipino-Australian community. 

DHN Trading, importer of Filipino goods, reported that the expansion of products in the mainstream supermarkets generated a lot of awareness and increased offtake in Filipino and Asian stores.

More Filipino products,  such as mixes and sauces, vinegars, noodles, savory snacks, halo-halo mixed fruits, canned sardines and tuna continue to be popular among consumers in Australia, according to Bob Harris, marketing consultant for DHN Trading.

A number of Woolworths stores carry the full range of Filipino products, according to Harris. 

“Some of the stores carry our full range of Filipino products while other stores are just starting with a few best selling items.”

Nearly 300,000 Filipinos live in Australia, making them the fifth-largest ethnic community in the country, government data show. But beyond this community, there is also the increasing demand for Filipino products from other sectors.

“The availability of Filipino products in Woolworths provides consumers with more options, convenience and accessibility, but we are also seeing a multiplier effect on small businesses as they provide niche products (lutong bahay, kakanins) and services (remittances, cargo and shipping services, packages) catering to the community. Overall, the market expands and benefits both consumers and businesses,” Harris added.

“With Filipino food now more accessible in Australia’s mainstream supermarkets, along with hundreds of Filipino grocery stores across the country, we can have a taste of home and share it with our Australian friends too,” said Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega.

Australians can get a taste of the Philippines through food products sold in Australian supermarkets such as Woolworths, according to De La Vega. They can cook a savory adobo using the Philippines’ popular vinegar and soy sauce brands. They can also try making the Filipinos’ sweet style spaghetti using a well-known sauce or banana ketchup brand. For dessert, they can whip up a halo-halo using ready-to-mix halo-halo tropical fruits.

Chippy corn snacks, a childhood favorite of Filipinos and ubiquitous in barkada (mate) trips, picnics, and movie marathons on weekends, are also available for Australians to munch on during Netflix moments.

Aside from traditional Filipino products, Woolworths also carries healthy Philippine products such as organic coconut water, virgin coconut oil, coconut flour, banana chips, canned pineapples and other products.