Soon aboard cruise lines: San Miguel beer, coco sugar
San Miguel beer and coconut sugar, among other Philippine products, may soon be available in some of the world’s leading cruise lines.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr., reported to Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario that officials of Carnival, Royal Carribean and Norwegian Cruise Lines have expressed serious interest in carrying Philippine products in their cruise ships.
Cuisia had met recently with the officials of the three cruise lines in an economic diplomacy mission in Florida, a statement from the Philippine embassy in Washington said.
“The cruise lines welcomed our proposals for them to carry Philippine-made products such as souvenirs and furniture as well as other alternatives that they could offer health-conscious guests such as coconut sugar and malunggay tea,” Cuisia said in his report to Del Rosario.
Coco sugar and malunggay tea are among products that got much consumer interest in trade shows in the US, the embassy quoted Agriculture attaché Josyline Javelosa, who accompanied Cuisia on the mission, as saying.
Among the trade shows that featured these products in the past few years were the Natural Products Exposition and Kosherfest.
Javelosa also said they had urged the cruise companies to also consider San Miguel beer and fresh Philippine mangoes and bananas.
The embassy also quoted Commercial counselor Maria Roseni Alvero, who was also with the mission, as expressing confidence that these products had a good chance of being carried by the cruise liners.
Alvero said other products like dried and processed fruits, seafood and beverages also drew the interest of not only ship guests but also crew members who like ethnic foods and condiments.
Likewise, Alvero said Philippine companies willing to enter cruise ships and the South America market would benefit from the ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal set to be completed next year.
“The expansion of the Panama Canal will also result in greater trade with the US and South America as it will take a shorter time for Philippine food products to reach their destinations,” she said.
The Panama Canal expansion will minimize travel time of goods from the Philippines to the Port of Miami from over 21 to 18 days.
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