Posted: July 17, 2007
“Here in the Philippines, our vision is to promote health to all individuals. Therefore, our products are fresh, natural, and preservative-free,” a calling which Kathleen Say, Fruit of Life, Inc.’s VP for Marketing, lived by since the company was established in 1995. For 12 years, the company focused on coconut by-products and promotes the health benefits of the popular tropical fruit.
Fruits of Life, Inc. has a variety of coconut-based products. From virgin coconut oil (VCO) to creams and even coconut jelly, the company assures consumers that quality and safety are induced in every product.
But among the company’s healthy offerings, the Lipa Fresh Buko Juice is the most popular. Aside from its fresh, mouth-watering flavor, Fruits of Life saw the potential of buko juice as a health drink.
The healthy benefits of Lipa Fresh Buko Juice
Made from the best raw materials and ingredients, Lipa Fresh Buko Juice is guaranteed to be very refreshing while it gives you the essential nutrients needed for your health.
Coconut, in general, was believed to be a “miracle” fruit for having numerous health benefits. Among the most popular benefit of coconut juice is that it is a detoxifying beverage. Most health experts recommend drinking coconut juice when experiencing urinary tract infection (UTI).
However in a recent study conducted by the University of the Philippines Los Baños, coconut juice was proven to be an alternative for artificially made sports drink. Just like the sports drink, coconut juice has electrolytes that helps replenish lost body fluids during rigorous activities. It is also very rich in potassium, a lot higher than the content of a sports drink.
“Lipa Fresh Buko Juice is also a natural sports drink. It helps retain the fluids needed for your active lifestyle, at the same time, it cleanses the kidneys from toxins. You will feel the cleansing effect after you drink Lipa Fresh Buko Juice,” Kathleen relates.
Buko in a bottle
Before, fresh buko juice is often served in its natural shell. Most people believed that serving them in its natural shell preserves the freshness and natural taste of the juice. However, many consumers take into consideration the convenience of drinking a coconut juice. Thus, a new packaging of the fresh buko juice began.
Kathleen, together with her team at Fruits for Life, Inc, saw the need for re-packaging on fresh buko juice. From its natural shell, the juice was packaged in plastic bottles making it convenient, sanitized, and leak-proof.
However, the major concern for this innovation on buko juice was the preservation of the quality and taste of the fresh buko juice. Thorough research and observing food safety standards, Lipa Fresh Buko Juice does not compromise the natural freshness of the coconut.
The humble, yet, successful beginnings of Lipa Fresh Buko Juice
With only five people working in both production and delivery when Fruits of Life first started, the company was still able to sell a quality product to the market. Most of their first clients were food establishments who, up to now, carry Lipa Fresh Buko Juice.
Among the company’s first clients were popular restaurants and establishments such as Mann Hann, Chopstix, Sun Moon, New Sun Beam, House of Minis, DEC, and the ADB (Asian Development Bank) cafeteria.
The list of clients has grown and has even distributed to other outlets such as sports centers, badminton centers, golf course clubhouses, health institutions, entertainment center and even more food establishments. Added to the list are Riviera Badminton Centers, Wack-Wack Country Golf Club, Philippine Navy Golf Club, Villamor Air Base Golf Club, Music 21, Power Plant Mall, Superbowl of China, Sukhotai, Subway, Phobac, Circo Grille, Thai B-B-Q, Macau, Zaifu, Isshin, Longrain, Milky Way, Dencio’s, Chicken Bacolod, Hapchang, ABS-CBN cafeteria, and GMA cafeteria.
Lipa Fresh Buko Juice are also sold at SM, Robinsons, and Unimart supermarkets.
Fruits of Life – braving the odds and reaping rewards
For more than 10 years, Fruits of Life has always maintained the quality of its coconut by-products. The company follows very strict quality control and sanitation procedures in order to ensure customers’ safety and satisfaction.
The company’s high regard for quality products and good manufacturing process was acknowledged through its BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs) approval in 1997. Two years after, Lipa Fresh Buko Juice underwent a strict Japanese quality standards test. Fruits of Life, once again, passed and was allowed its first airfreight shipment to Japan.
The achievements of Lipa Fresh Buko Juice brought about the development of more new products such as: Lipa Fresh Buko Melon (a combination of buko and melon juice), Lipa Miracle Oil (the company’s first virgin coconut oil product), and the Coconut Juice in Can.
With the company’s ingenious use of the coconut, the Philippine Coconut Authority awarded Lipa Fresh Buko Juice the Product Processor Innovator Award for Buko Juice. Fruits of Life sees the recognition as the most valuable for it was given by the authority in the coconut industry. Also, the company considers it as a true recognition for its efforts in promoting coconut juice as a health drink.
Be Healthy. Go Global.
Fruits of Life did not limit its market to the Philippines. In fact, the company has joined international food fairs to promote its products in the global market.
The company first participated at the Asian Ethnic Food Fair in 2000. Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the fair helped food entrepreneurs like Fruits for Life, Inc. to create awareness on their products to the local and international market. On the same event, the company launched the new packaging of Lipa Fresh Buko Juice. Since joining its first-ever international trade show, Fruits of Life carry on with IFEX (International Food Exhibition), formerly the Asian Ethnic Food Fair, as a regular exhibitor.
Only good words Kathleen gives to CITEM’s support for her company. Through CITEM-organized fairs, she met a lot of food distributors and importers abroad where in it opened satisfactory business opportunities for her company. “I have traveled and met a lot of food distributors and importers abroad. They often say that our country offers many unique and quality products,” Kathleen relates.
Fruits of Life also supports the governments’ campaign for better product packaging that will make Filipino-made products competitive in the global market. “Packaging says a lot about the company and their product image and professionalism. If you look at products nowadays from China or Thailand, their packaging has been very creative and attractive and almost at par with Japan. This attracts the consumers and urges them to buy,” Kathleen adds.
Aside from better product packaging, the company is determined to develop more coconut products. And although many claims that their beverages are better, healthier, and more natural, Kathleen believes that nothing beats the freshness and the health benefits of the coconut juice. Fruits of Life will continue to research for new innovations that will make their buko products fresh, well and healthier to meet the satisfaction of their customers.
“We would like to continue creating awareness and appreciation on the great benefits of the coconut and the fruit of life. Our vision is to have a healthy world,” Kathleen ends.
For more information on Fruits of Life’s products, visit their website at www.lipabuko.com.
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