How SM won with turon
Bananas, jackfruit, and brown sugar wrapped in lumpia (spring roll) wrapper. SM has turned the humble turon into a delectable story of growth. For only PHP15 a piece, the 8-inch SM Turon or fried banana spring roll offers an always-available filling delicacy in all SM Markets (SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, and Savemore Market) stores nationwide.
A Filipino’s all-time favorite snack, conveniently enjoyed by people from all walks of life; from daily commuters and employees on the break to families on picnics and business executives in a meeting. Its charm lies in its sweet and fruity flavors layered in different textures. It is filling yet can easily be bought with loose change. And though it is handy enough to be consumed on the go, it is not that easy to make; an opportunity SM saw back in 2012.
SM Markets Vice Chairman Herbert Sy, the son of retail magnate Henry Sy, Sr., envisioned the turon could be bigger than what it already was. Seeing its potential as a comfort Filipino merienda for every walk of life. Coming from his strong retail background, Mr. Sy wanted to offer good quality turon in every SM Markets store given its track record for food safety and quality at a very affordable price.
“We wanted a ready-to-eat product that SM’s customers from all walks of life would want to eat. We want our customers to enjoy a quick hunger fix without them having to go through the hassle of preparing it.” Mr. Sy said.
In 2016, SM Markets registered sales of 24 million pieces of turon, exceeding 18 million pieces of the turon sold in 2015, up 33% from the previous year.
A definite tur(n)on
SM Markets standardized its turon at 8-inches in length and 2 inches in diameter. Its taste is also uniform across stores. Fresh saba, brown sugar, and lumpia wrappers are carefully measured to ensure quality with every purchase. Its recipe was carefully studied to produce the crunchiest and most full-flavored Turon with Langka to serve as flag-bearer of SM Markets’ ready to eat offerings. SM Markets’ reinvention of the turon ensures the right proportions of banana, langka, sugar, and crunchy wrapper in every bite. Originally sold as street food by small stores and street vendors, today, people know the turon as a Filipino snack that’s always available in all SM Markets stores; presented in glass warmers making sure that it’s hot, freshly made, and crispy. SM Markets has become top of mind for anyone looking for the traditional, satisfying, and quality merienda.
“The success of turon is proof that Filipinos tend to look for familiar taste at a price that’s “sulit.” Despite turon being a simple merienda, we learned that our customers would see the value of paying 15 pesos vs. preparing it at home. Our customers tend to build a “suki” relationship when quality is consistent no matter which branch or what time they buy their turon. With SM’s turon, shoppers are ensured that they will get the same quality, the same flavor, the same size, and the same value for money every time.” Mr. Sy said.
The turon’s success has inspired the creation of other affordable offerings including filling rice meals, stuffed pandesal, lumpiang togue, and Siopao Sarap.