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Understanding the Filipino's unique micro-repacking mentality

What you have to learn about the 'tingi' system

Jun 24, 2011 13:00 pm

Something peculiar to the local market is the presence of sachets, tetra packs, tube packs, and other products in micro packages or what we refer to colloquially as tingi-tingi.

Just take a look at the local grocery store and you will see nearly everything in foil packs, plastic sachets, and mini tubes – from milk, cooking oil, toothpaste, sugar, coffee, and even sardines. Or take a peek into a hotel room and you will see liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion in small packages.

Rey Calooy saw the potential of a then underserved market in the early 90’s, establishing RNC Marketing, which has now become the leading micro packing company in the Visayas.

“I started with one sealer and rolls of plastic. I did the repacking manually. Eventually, the business grew as more clients wanted to have their products in micro packs,” says Calooy.

But why is the tingi-tingi system a hit with the Filipino market?

In an attempt to explain why Filipinos prefer to go for the tingi system than in bulk, Calooy gives three possible reasons.

1.    Affordable
“Not a lot of Filipinos can afford to buy things in bigger packaging. Some people live by the day, so are their needs. They only buy what they can consume for the day because it is only what they can afford,” says Calooy.

2.    Practical
On the other side of the spectrum, micro packed products are more practical to use also. “There is no need for you to look for storage containers as the product is consumed in one use. It is very practical if you go on out of town trips. Bottled soy sauce and cooking oil are too heavy compared to the micro packed products,” says Calooy.

3.    Hygienic
“What actually pushed me to start the micro-repacking business was that I thought it would be more hygienic if the sugar and cream that was served with coffee in hotels were in smaller packs rather than in jars. It’s the same thing with other products,” says Calooy.

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