Dr. Alan Escalona took over Fruit Magic in 1999 and has expanded via company and franchised stores while adding new concepts along the way. He is currently president of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA). He shares his insights about the vision and growth strategy of Fruit Magic and his franchising business.
Q1: Your group took over the stores of RPM Fruit Magic in 1999 and renamed them as just Fruit Magic. Being a doctor, what made you stop practicing your profession and go into business?
A: I married early and had 2 children. After I graduated from Medicine in Fatima College of Medicine, I went straight to business instead of practicing.
Q2: What is one thing Fruit Magic has which other fresh fruit kiosks do not have?
A: Pure Nectar Cold Pressed Juices which uses the latest technology of extracting vital nutrients from raw fruits and vegetables. The fresh produce we get from local farms are pressed with 14,000 pounds of pressure – making it extremely potent and packed with live enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
We felt the need to keep up with the fast-paced world wherein everyone is mobile and on the go. It is easier and more convenient for customers to purchase a bottled cold-pressed juice. One bottle of Pure Nectar consists of approximately half a kilo of fruits and veggies, and it counts as the body’s maximum daily requirement to lower the risk of serious health problems.
Q3: You have Fruit Magic and now SAP and Pure Nectar. What’s the growth concept of each and what unmet needs are you trying to satisfy?
A: The growing health oriented market has compelled us to push our health and wellness advocacy further with the use of new innovations and technologies. I believe that these raw, unpasteurized, affordable and convenient grab & go beverages will ultimately allow us to maximize our reach nationwide. Our goal now is to be able to make our products more available in the market, and create more concoctions and blends fit for the lifestyle of Filipinos.
Q4: You now have a super cooling system for juices that is -1 to -3 degrees Celsius which prolongs the shelf-life of the juice from 3-4 days to 21 days, tell us why it is important to the consumers.
A: Fruits and vegetables are packed with raw, live and whole nutrients – keeping it fresh all throughout the juicing process is the most difficult part. We have extremely high standards when it comes to handling the produce the moment it arrives our factory for juicing: from sanitizing all the equipment, externally washing off all the chemicals and herbicides of the fruits and vegetables from the harvest, to packaging, and storing them at the most appropriate temperature. I believe it is not just the super-cooling system for natural preservation, but the entire process altogether.
Q5: Wastage and pilferage are problems of fresh fruit juice kiosks. How is Fruit Magic minimizing these problems?
A: Our bottled cold-pressed juices have truly lessened wastage and pilferage because we are able to juice of all the fruits and vegetables at its freshest state – without any wastage. We are able to control and predict the amount of produce we need according to the number of bottles required per order. This is a more efficient method compared to having fresh produce delivered to the kiosks, preparing it there and storing them until they are consumed. This has a much bigger risk for the produce to lose its nutritional benefits.
Q6: In 2000, you launched Fruit Magic Lounge, offering customers pizzas, pastries, wraps and sandwiches. What’s the most important lesson you have learned from this expansion?
A: I have learned to be more consistent to the company’s core competence and advocacy. With Fruit Magic, it has always been about providing high quality fruit and vegetable juice and shakes for a healthier lifestyle.
Q7: What is your vision for Fruit Magic and how will franchising help you attain your goals?
A: Fruit Magic’s ultimate goal is to acquire more Pure Nectar franchisees nationwide and eventually, international and global distribution. We have added a new Fruit Magic franchise/distribution scheme which is now more affordable and attainable compared to the full kiosk franchise package.