Supermarket overload

- Lydia Castillo () - November 7, 2010 - 12:00am

It would seem like consumers are having a supermarket overload, what with all the chains opening branches all over the country. Indeed, they could be driven by the growing community of shoppers wanting more access, more products to choose from, and more competitive prices. This is where more is better.

One chain that is fast catching up by way of strengthening their presence in various areas is PureGold, which, if we remember correctly, started operations with a dimly lit store along Imelda Avenue in Parañaque. Today it has grown and has entered the very challenging arena of the retail industry aggressively. The stores now sport a completely new look. They are brightly lit, neat and well-organized.  

The latest branch is located on the second level of a building called Molito on Madrigal Avenue in Ayala Alabang. If there is a rating system for supermarkets, this should get an 8. Considering it has just opened, we noted only minimal flaws (like no tags on some merchandize) at the new PureGold branch. Overall, it is consumer-friendly – enough room to swing the carts around, accommodating staff, attractive product displays, fresh produce, seafood and meat, and most of all, competitive prices.

We found our supermarket suki, the efficient Nina, who introduced us to their consultant Ernest, a young Dutch-Brit with 18 years of experience in the industry. Nina toured us around. It was quite a trip, considering the store covers an area of more than 3,000 sq.ft.

Here is some of what we found. Garden Ville with gardening needs like seeds, fertilizers (urea sells at P69 a pack) and seedlings. In one corner is the Flavors and Spices section. Herbs like rosemary are sold in small pots for planting. Organic vegetables in another area. There is a section they call Ladlad (laid out) because the products (veggies, processed meat, etc.) can be bought in small quantities. Here one can get taosi, togue, pickled pipino, local atsara, and a variety of shrimp rolls/balls which are good for adding flavor to pancit and soups. Organic eggs are at P120 for 6 pieces. Coffee beans are available, also by takal. We were glad to find fennel (P269 a kilo), ideal to season grilled fish fillet. Unbranded chicken sells for P90 a kilo, and to the joy of our two-year-old apo, the big aquariums have jumping live fish and shrimps.

We were introduced to Lipout, a fiber supplement from cactus that naturally eliminates unwelcome fat. Formulated in Germany, this comes in tablet form. We discovered this during lunch at Glenda’s Oyster Bar in Power Plant. Trust Glenda to come up with something very innovative like the tinola flan.

We need to consume 22 to 25 gms of fiber a day. Findings from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) show that on the average Filipinos consume only 11 gms, explained no doubt by an unbalanced diet of mostly meat and seafood. Many eat a lot of high-fat food, a habit we need to remedy.

Here is a high fiber dish you might want to try. Although Lebanese in origin, we had this in Egypt during one of our travels. Tabouleh, burghul and parsley salad – one-fourth cup burghul, 2 cups cold water, 2 cups chopped parsley, one half cup chopped spring onions, one fourth cup chopped mint, one fourth cup olive oil, 2 tbs. lemon juice, 1 and a half tsps salt, one half tsp. ground pepper, two salad tomatoes, a head of lettuce, another one fourth cup lemon juice and one half tsp more of salt. Place burghul in a bowl and soak in water. Leave for 30 minutes then drain very well. Remove stalks from parsley, wash, wrap in kitchen towel, put in ref to crisp and dry. Put burghul in a bowl, add parsley, spring onions, squeeze using hands to seal flavors. Beat oil with lemon juice and stir in salt and pepper. Toss into the grains. Peel, seed and dice tomatoes, adding them to the salad. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Serve on a bed of lettuce. 

Liberty Commodities, which produces Maya flour and cake mixes, are Think(ing) Heart. They have just released “Think Heart” whole wheat pancake mix which offers the following health benefits (while still awaiting evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration): whole gains reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and are a big source of nutrients that fight cellular damage, and aging. Because this is a fiber, the risk of getting certain types of cancer is reduced and they add to weight loss. Muscovado sugar is used in the mix for its high potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron content. A 200 gm box costs P33, while a 400 gm box at P64.30.

There you have it – eat healthy with a lot of fiber in your diet.


E-mail comments and questions to this new address: ldcastillo327@yahoo.com.ph. Ms. Castillo’s former address has been hacked. Please ignore any e-mail sent from that address.

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