Sari-sari Stores Remain a Lifeline For Filipinos Amidst Inflation, Reveals Packworks’ Study

(source: Packworks)

When inflation soars high, sari-sari stores run low, providing a lifeline of essential services to around 94% of Filipinos nationwide.

This is the key finding from the Sari IQ Year-End Report for 2023 released by Packworks, a Filipino startup offering a business-to-business (B2B) FMCG marketplace for sari-sari stores, in its snapshot of the state of the grassroots retail sector in the country.

According to the report, the sales trends of sari-sari stores are not directly influenced by inflation as previously thought. The data reveals that the month-on-month (MoM) growth in gross merchandise value (GMV) is not correlated with the country’s inflation rate on a MoM basis. Instead, it seems to be more influenced by special occasions. The trend recorded most of the peaks during major occasions, such as Christmas and Holy Week, which have extended breaks.

“The stores’ resilience, even amid inflationary pressures, lies in how they are embedded in the fabric of the community’s way of life, reflecting a symbiotic relationship between the stores and their customers. More importantly, it shows how stores display agility in their inventory and operations to cater to the heightened demands of these seasons, further reinforcing their role as indispensable components of community life,” shared Andoy Montiel, Packworks’ Chief Data Officer.

Sari-sari stores are serving as the neighborhood pantry with high demand for instant noodles (159%), ready-to-heat (221%), recipe mix (117%), and ready-to-cook (42%).

Sari IQ report listed top products by GMV. Essential products like detergent, powdered coffee, shampoo, canned fish & seafood, and instant noodles are on the list. This shows that sari-sari stores remain the most convenient source of essential goods.

From a different angle, sari-sari stores outside of urban areas record the highest sales, according to a report. The top regions with the highest sales are Region IV-A, Region II, and Region III. National Capital Region (NCR) and Cebu (Region VII) only place 5th and 6th.

Packworks’ key findings are based on extensive data collected through Sari IQ. In 2023, Packworks recorded over 8.2 million transactions and sales of more than 15,000 SKUs through its network of over 270,000 sari-sari stores nationwide.

Packworks was founded in 2018 to empower sari-sari stores through its mobile app ecosystem. It digitizes its operations, including pricing, inventory management, and sales tracking. The platform offers affordable inventory financing services to help saripreneurs grow their businesses.

Packworks supports financial inclusion for sari-sari stores through its SariSkwela program, which, in partnership with Bayan Academy, aims to promote microentrepreneurship.

To access the full report, visit


Written by
Tech Beat Philippines

Tech Beat Philippines is the social media news platform for all things technology. It is also a part of the GEARS section on Daddy's Day Out.

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