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Sold Out Agad!? The Best Products To Sell In Your Sari-Sari Store

By Yesh Quijano    June 13, 2024       min read

Step into any neighborhood in the Philippines, and you're likely to spot a sari-sari store nestled amongst the homes. These small, humble stores are an integral part of Filipino culture, offering everything from snacks to soap.

You might wonder what it takes to start a sari-sari store and run one of these quintessential Filipino businesses.

Indeed, keeping a sari-sari store thriving requires a keen sense of what your local community needs. With limited shelf space, every product you stock must be chosen with care.

Will you have what it takes to pick out the essentials for success?

Ready to discover the in-demand items that could turn your sari-sari store into a local hotspot?

Key Takeaways

  • Sari-sari stores are integral to local communities in the Philippines.
  • Essential items and smart product (and brand) choices are key to a thriving store business.
  • Satisfying the needs of your customers by selling in-demand products will drive profitability for sari-sari store owners.
sari-sari store products

When you're stocking your sari-sari store, it's crucial to offer a range of products that cater to the daily needs of your community.

From quick snacks to essential groceries, your store should have it all.

Managing your inventory smartly ensures you have what your customers need, when they need it.

Canned Goods

Stock your shelves with a variety of canned goods. These staples are not only convenient but also have a long shelf life, making them a must-have in every sari-sari store. 

Some popular canned goods:

  • Corned Beef (Karne Norte, Star, Argentina, Purefoods)
  • Sardines (555, Ligo, Master, Mega, Youngs Town)
  • Canned Tuna (Century Tuna, Blue Bay)
  • Meat Loaf (Spam, Maling)
  • Mushroom (Jolly)
  • Hunts Pork & Beans
  • Pineapple Chunks, Bits (Del Monte)
  • Green Peas (Jolly)
  • Mackerel (Hokkaido)
  • Corned Tuna (San Marino)

Pro Tip: Back in the day, my mom would stock up even on less popular canned goods like Tiga Bunga or Vienna sausage. While these did not get sold every day, having 2-3 cans on display for the occasional buyer is good for our store's reputation.

Beverages, Sodas (Soft Drinks), Juices, and Alcohol

A successful sari-sari store always has a chilled section for popular items and beverages ranging from sodas and juices to alcoholic drinks.

Keeping a mix of these items caters to both kids looking for a sweet drink and adults aiming to relax with a cold beer.

Some popular beverages:

Sodas - Coca-cola, Sprite, Royal, RC, Mountain Dew, Juicy Lemon, rootbeer like Sarsi, Zest-O, or Mug. Alternatively, Pepsi products.

Juices - Zest-O, Big, or Plus. If you're near a school, stocking up on Chuckie or Yakult is a good idea. C2 or Mogu-Mogu is also popular with kids

Alcohol

  • Beer: (Pale Pilsen, San Mig Light, Red Horse)
  • Hard liquor: Gin (bilog and kwatro kantos), brandy (Emperador), whisky (Embassy), and even Soju.

Note: Just be careful not to sell to minors. Be mindful during liquor bans as well.

Groceries

Basics like sugar, coffee, and cooking oil are grocery items foundational to the success of your sari-sari store. You'll want to ALWAYS have them on-hand. Your customers rely on you for these fundamental ingredients that keep their homes running smoothly.

Some popular products:

  • Salt, pepper
  • Garlic, ginger, onions
  • Sugar (brown, wash, and white)
  • Cooking oil (I remember back in the day, my mom would sell cooking oil in ice candy wrappers and half bottles)
  • Coffee and creamer

Pro Tip: If you're near construction sites (or generally, areas with plenty of workers), stock up on various 3-in-1 coffee brands

Personal Care

Shampoos, soaps, and toothpastes fall under the personal care category. These everyday hygiene products are necessities, so keep a good stock.

Some notable brands include Beam and Colgate. If you're in a well-off area, it might be a good idea to sell Sensodyne too.

Cigarette

For those who partake, cigarettes are often a consistent sale. Offer a selection but remember to check and follow local regulations regarding the sale of tobacco products.

Some popular choices: Marlboro, Fortune, Winston, Champion, and Hope

Instant Noodles

Busy days call for quick meals, making instant noodles a fast-moving product. Offer various flavors to keep your selection interesting.

Popular brands and varieties include Pancit Canton, Nissin cup noodles, Lucky Me noodles.

Biscuits, Breads & Other Snacks

Shelves lined with biscuits, bread, and snacks attract not only the younger crowd but also adults looking for a quick munch.

It's wise to have a range of treats to attract customers with different tastes.

Snacks (various biscuits brands like Magic Flakes, Sky Flakes, or Bingo and various chips like Nova and Piatos)

Candy & Chocolates

Don't forget the sweet tooth. Candies and chocolates can brighten anyone's day, so a colorful display can garner extra sales.

OTC Medicines

Keeping a stock of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for headaches, colds, and minor aches is a good idea. These items are often sought out for quick relief.

Some recommended items:

  • Paracetamol
  • Kremil-S
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Midol
  • BioFlue
  • Decolgen or Neozep
  • Diatabs
  • Bandaids, cotton and other first aid materials

Eggs and Rice

No sari-sari store is complete without the ultimate staples: eggs and rice. They are the cornerstone of many meals and thus essential to have.

Toiletry and Hygiene Products

Stock up on household hygiene products such as toilet paper and sanitary pads. It's important to have these basic household items available for your customers' convenience.

  • Toilet paper
  • Sanitary pads (napkins) - offer multiple brands
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soaps (Safeguard, Dove)

Laundry Detergents and Cleaning Supplies

Help your customers keep their homes clean with a selection of laundry detergents and cleaning supplies. These are consistent sellers in any neighborhood store.

  • Powdered detergent
  • Bar soaps and detergents
  • Bleach (i.e., Zonrox)
  • Fabric Conditioner (i.e., Downy)

Condiments

Finally, condiments like soy sauce, vinegar, and fish sauce are the flavors behind many local dishes. Keeping them in supply means you're helping in the creation of delicious home-cooked meals.

  • Tomato Ketchup (i.e., Heinz)
  • Banana Ketchup (Papa Ketchup, UFC)
  • Mang Tomas
  • Soy Sauce & Vinegar (Silver Swan, Datu Puti)
  • Fish Sauce (patis)

Mga Astig Na Products Na Ikatutuwa Ni Suki! (In-Demand Products to Maximize Profits)

If you're running a sari-sari store, stocking up on products that fly off the shelves can seriously boost your income and attract more customers. Here's a rundown on what's hot, so you cash in on the demand.

Frozen Goods Like Longganisa, Tocino, and Hotdog

Your freezer section should be a treasure trove of breakfast favorites.

Frozen items Popular items like Longganisa, Tocino, and Hotdog are staples in many sari-sari stores. Not only are they crowd-pleasers but also have a relatively long shelf life.

Make sure to replenish your stock regularly to meet the daily demand of your local community for these tasty, easy-to-cook staples.

Ice

Never underestimate the power of a bag of Ice.

Especially during hot seasons or for those without a fridge, ice is a daily necessity.

It's perfect for beverages or just to keep things cool, and it's a sure bet for steady sales. Keep those ice bags ready!

Sell E-Load

In today's connected world, E-Load is as essential as a can of soda.

Top up your customers' mobile phones on the spot, and watch as this digital commodity brings in a steady stream of profit. It's a service that doesn't expire, and folks will appreciate the convenience.

G-Cash (Cash In and Cash Out)

G-Cash services are becoming increasingly crucial.

By offering Cash In and Cash Out options, you're turning your store into a financial hub – a place your customers trust to handle their money.

Plus, you'll get a commission for each transaction, making it a win-win.

Note: Register your store as a GCash Pera Outlet to offer official cash-in and cash-out services.

Game Load Top-Up

Video games aren't just for kids; loads of adults are into them too.

Offer Game Load Top Up cards for popular online games to tap into this market.

It's an easy add-on sale, and discounts on bulk purchases can bump up your profits further. Keep an eye on your sales and inventory to stay stocked with these digital favorites.

Fruits And Vegetables

From time to time, I remember my mom selling bananas and mangoes (when it's in season). For vegetables, she sold commonly-bought veggies like cabbage, sayote, and potatoes.

If you have popular products, you’ll have a popular store.

Running a successful sari-sari store means being tuned in to your community's everyday needs.

Think of the items customers often buy like snacks, canned goods, and personal care items, and make sure they're always in stock.

The true charm of a sari-sari store lies in offering convenience—those quick grabs for a meal ingredient or a sudden need for soap.

So go for it, and remember to infuse every sale with a smile—it's the secret ingredient to your enterprise!

About the author 

Yesh Quijano

Yesh Quijano is an entrepreneur and digital marketer who's been in the game for over 11 years. He started several businesses and helped countless others reach new heights. His goal is to make digital marketing for SMEs simple, accessible, and effective. When he's not working, you can find him cuddling with his two cats.

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