MANILA, January 21, 2004 (STAR) By Rose Dela Cruz - Food manufacturing firm CDO-Foodsphere, Inc. has embarked on a nationwide consumer promotion using short message service (SMS) to bolster its position in the canned beef market.

The promo is anchored on the reality that 18 million Filipinos own mobile phones and subscribe to the services of either Globe, Smart, Talk n Text or Touch Mobile – telephone companies and service brands which make raffle promo using text messaging beneficial to consumers.

Ed Reataza, CDO-Foodsphere’s vice president for sales and marketing, said the food company launched its promotion dubbed "CDO Karne Nortext Cash Papremyo" that will give away over P3.5 million in cash prizes from daily, monthly and a grand national draw. "This is our way of thanking the public for their loyalty to the brand and at the same time for our company to reach out to more markets until we reach a point where we have penetrated every corner of the country," Reataza said.

Though some meat processing companies tried to use the SMS medium for sales promotions, none has ever gone into it on a national scale, said Allelujah Martinez, director for business development of Buy N Text Corp., the company tasked by CDO-Foodsphere to manage the text-based promo. The daily draw winner gets P10,000; the prize for November monthly draw is P250,000 and for December P500,000, the grand draw winner gets P1 Million. All prizes are tax free.

CDO-Foodsphere, has popularized the karne norte brand of canned beef by combination of massive distribution, sustained awareness, affordable pricing and giving consumers convenience they desire by pre sauteing the corned beef. Thus, from only 21 percent in 2001, CDO widened its market share of karne norte to 42 percent by mid 2003.

The corned beef industry, valued at P4 to P5 billion yearly, used to be concentrated in the upper and upper-middle income groups of consumers, until CDO-Foodsphere came up with smaller-sized corned beef can with lower price affodable to the mass markets, said Jonathan Bendicion, CDO-Foodsphere’s marketing manager.

The company currently produces and sells four sizes of karne norte: the 100 grams in regular and hot & spicy variants; the 150 grams, the 175 grams and the 260 gram cans. Of the 42 percent share in corned meat sales, the 100 gram pack constitute about 20 percent, according to a trade survey. There are currently 32 brands in the local market.

With the purchase of any karne norte or corned beef of CDO regardless of size, the buyer looks at the bottom of the cans for the raffle number, dial 2966 for Globe or Touch Mobile and 3996 for Smart and Talk & Text and register the raffle number, complete name, address, gender, and birth date.

Buy N Text Corp. will then call the sender and inform him/her of being a potential winner in the daily, monthly or grand draw. Buy N Text will also make arrangements whether their agent would visit the sender or if the sender could report to any of the 20 Buy N Text offices in the country presenting their ID card, sim card used in registering for the promo and proof of purchase for validation.

A winner gets a confirmation letter after the validation process. Prizes have to be claimed 60 days upon receipt of the confirmation letter.

The cost of a successful message sent is P2.50 for Smart and Globe subscribers and a sender can send up to two promo codes per text message, Martinez said. Each pack size has an equivalent number of entries, the bigger the pack size, the bigger is the corresponding entry. For 100 grams- 1 entry, 150 grams and 175 grams - 2 entries and 260 grams - 3 entries.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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