“It tastes good and sweet. If I need energy, I’ll choose this,” said triathlete Hayley Goldberg after she had a taste of the soon-to-be launched coco water product developed and packaged by Camarines Sur farmers with support from the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
This was one of the positive comments by athletes who joined the recent Challenge CamSur last June 14, 2015 in Camarines Sur. Goldberg is the top finisher for the 45-49 age bracket category.
The DA-PRDP in Region V has conducted the product testing and market survey of the coco water in the said event to gather initial feedbacks prior to the release of the product in the market.
The Project partnered with the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) and the Camarines Sur Provincial Government for the conduct of “Operation of Village Level Coconut Water Processing Center.”
According to CBSUA project leader Julieta M. Casaul, the product testing was conducted to evaluate the perception and feedback of the general consumers about the characteristics and market acceptability of coco water as part of their market and profitability study on the product.
A booth for the product testing and market survey was installed by the DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division at the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) where the sports event was held.
About 150 respondents, majority of whom are athletes were interviewed using market research tools including the Usage, Attitude and Image (UAI) study, product prototype test and price sensitivity analysis.
Consumers’ feedback on the product’s taste, appearance, size and health benefits were solicited to determine their preference. In addition, price and potential demand and brand preference test were surveyed.
A recent nutrient analysis conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region V shows that coco water is rich in electrolytes like potassium and sodium that enable body cells to generate energy, keep the body hydrated, and restore its balance. Intake of electrolytes is recommended to prepare for rigorous activities like running or hiking to prevent muscle cramps, step up performance, and boost endurance.
“Isang market ng coco water ang athletes and the Challenge CamSur is an opportune time to get their feedback about the product,” CBSUA Project Leader Hanilyn A. Hidalgo said.
Camarines Sur Male South East Asian Elite champion Augusto Benedicto said that the coco water is better than other energy drinks, while Event Director Anna Stroh said that coco water tastes more like fresh buko juice.
About 475 triathletes participated in the Challenge CamSur triathlon event which consists of a 1.9-kilometer swim, 90-kilometer bike, and 21-kilometer run race course.
The “Operation of Village Level Coconut Water Processing Center” sub-project is part of the Enterprise Development (I-REAP) Component of the PRDP, which aims to establish strong linkage among coconut farmers in the region and at the same time capacitate them to value-add their products and engage in businesses.
PRDP is a P27.48-billion project implemented under the DA has funding support from a World Bank loan, the national government and LGU. It aims to develop the economy in the rural areas while increasing incomes of rural farmers and fishers. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP Region V)
Posted By: Lynne Pingoy