I’ve been on a mission to get to know more local brands, and the more I discover, the more impressed I get. Apart from the quality of the products, there’s one more thing these local artisan goods cannot fake, and that is passion. Thanks to this, Filipino food products have stepped up their game in recent years. Everything from their packaging to the products themselves ooze class, and dare I say, confidence that they can go head to head against foreign brands. (I certainly feel confident giving any of these as gifts to friends from other countries!)
The best part about buying Pinoy-made products is that it also means we’re helping out local farmers and harvesters maintain regular jobs. I love the sense of community supporting local products brings, so let’s talk about some of them in this round-up now! This list includes food products from different categories that I think would work well in gift baskets, or on their own really. They fall under different price ranges as well.
Figures of Beans Coffee
Best for: The daily coffee connoisseur.
If you’ve never tried Sagada or Benguet coffee before, this brand is an awesome introduction. Figures of Beans has a great array of coffee products, even having vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel flavored blends. I personally get a kick out of analyzing the unique undertones of different types of coffees, and while I’m not an expert on it yet, I love the premium Cordillera coffees I’ve tried from Figures of Beans so far.
[READ: My Figures of Beans review]
A lot of people who like their coffee strong and bold also enjoy being able to brew it themselves, in which case I highly suggest gifting them with any of the sets created by Figures of Beans. They have one in particular that includes a French Press alongside bags of their coffee. I am thinking of gifting this to myself haha!
Man on The Moon Cold Brew Coffee
Best for: Your coffee junkie friend.
Cold brew coffee is enjoying a moment, and I can see why. It’s strong coffee that allows you to enjoy the nuances of the drink while keeping you wide awake. Man on The Moon makes some pretty good cold brew, and they should for the price!
Black Hole, aka their plain brewed coffee offering, packs a pleasant chocolate taste with strong sour notes. Milky Way is a sweeter and creamier option, for those who don’t like to take their coffee black but want that strong caffeine buzz. Solstice combines calamansi with Benguet coffee and it was something I’ve never tried before. You either like that citrusy kick with your coffee or you don’t. (I’m 50-50 on this one.)
My favorite is unsurprisingly Nebula. The drink flawlessly incorporates earthy matcha into a strong coffee base, giving it a pleasant depth sans any bitter aftertaste. I love how perfectly creamy it is too. At over Php 120 a bottle, this isn’t exactly cheap, but I think this will be well-enjoyed by the cold brew lovers in your life.
Bayani Brew Juices
Best for: Your socially conscious barkada.
Is there still anybody who doesn’t know what Bayani Brew stands for? As a fan of their juices and their cause, I simply needed to include them on my list. If you have friends who love to support causes like this, I feel like they would be happy to know that you contributed to the livelihood of local farmers by buying these products on their behalf. Not to mention, they get to drink some yummy juices!
The photo I featured here is of their old packaging, and their new ones are so very pretty. But one thing I noticed is that they also launched some Christmas gift packages as well you might want to check out!
Best for: Your “tita” friend who enjoys a drink on Friday nights.
The first thing I ever got to taste from DeMetrio’s wine lineup was their Mangosteen Wine, and in that moment I knew this wine was going to be a regular in our house. DeMetrio’s wines are blended with unique tropical flavors that make them taste so good! They’re not too sweet, and they don’t leave you with a dry feeling in your mouth either. They’re just plainly pleasant to drink.
Apart from Mangosteen, their ‘Tropical Wines’ line also has Mango, Passion Fruit, Coconut, Marang, just to name a few. All of them are masterfully made in Urban Island Winery’s brewing site in Taguig.
DeMetrio’s also have a line of sweeter and creamier dessert wines like this coffee one I’ve taken a photo of. Actually, these wines will please even those who don’t like wine methinks, just because they have such familiar flavors and they don’t really make you think like you’re drinking wine… Until you get a bit tipsy I suppose?
Chef Tony’s Popcorn
Best for: Your buddies who love to watch movies, at home or in the cinema.
I remember back when Chef Tony’s Popcorn was sort of this new kid on the block, now they have so many flavors it’s dizzying! There seems to be a flavor for every type of tastebud from their lineup now. Whether or not the person you will be giving these to likes to watch movies, I’m pretty sure they’ll love munching on these either way.
Personally, I like the Dark Chocolate and Mochachino with Almonds flavors from their sweet line. On the other hand, my favorite from their savory line is their Jalapeno Cheddar. I wish they made their Red Chili a little hotter though.
Villa Socorro Farms Sabanana Banana Chips
Best for: Chips addicts looking for an alternative.
I don’t know why chips are just so pleasurable to munch on, but everybody knows they’re not the healthiest. Which is why I appreciate the discovery of these banana chips from Villa Socorro Farm so much!
This farm is nestled at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range, and their most popular product to date is their Sabanana Banana Chips. You can already find these in most supermarkets and at Kultura.
Their Sweet Original flavor is too sweet for me so I go for the Lite version, but every once in a while I savor their flavored banana chips. Smoky BBQ is good, but my fave is the Roasted Garlic flavor. Yum!
Best for: The major snackers in your life “shifting” to a healthy lifestyle.
Take Root remains to be one of my faovrite local snack brands, just because I genuinely enjoy their products so much. If you want my full feelings about these products, you can check out the more detailed review I wrote from the link below.
[READ: My Take Root snacks review]
Take Root is not just about their kale chips, although indeed those are delish. They also make some pretty awesome sweets and granolas. I love their Dark Chocolate Brownie Bliss Balls!
The only thing that makes it hard for me to buy these on the regular is the price. The kale chips are a bit on the expensive side at Php 220 per bag, but then again, it’s Christmas! I’m sure the recipient of these will thank you. (And while you’re at it, please do send me some.)
Honest Junk Snacks
Best for: Your health-conscious, gluten-conscious, everything-conscious friend.
I got sent these snacks before as a gift and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed their Zooper Cookies made with malunggay. A year later I still wanted Honest Junk on this list. Now admittedly, the cookies and gummies they make are not 100 percent similar to normal cookies made with loads of butter and sugar, but that doesn’t mean they don’t taste good.
Pictured below are their Coco Chia Zooper Cookies, and my fave remains to be their Malunggay Zooper Cookies. I’ve tried a couple of their gummies as well and I discovered I’m not a fan of all of their flavors. They aren’t as tasty as the full blown gummies most of us are used to, which isn’t entirely unexpected.
I wanted to include this brand as an option for those who are looking for dairy free and gluten free options that will still allow the receiver to fulfill their sweet cravings.
Best for: Anyone who likes chocolate really.
I don’t want to say a lot about this brand because it’s pretty famous already, but since it is my favorite local chocolate brand I just could not resist adding this in. I want to visit their Chocolate Museum!
Best for: Your more adventurous chocolate-loving friend.
I just discovered this chocolate brand this year and boy did I fall in love! Risa Chocolates makes some pretty unique flavors with their quality bittersweet chocolate. My favorite is their Bacon Chili Chocolate because the taste is spot on.
[READ: My Risa Chocolates Review]
If you know someone who really likes to be adventurous, maybe they’ll enjoy the exotic Chole, which is basically dark chocolate with bits of chicharon and adobo flakes. Bet you’ve never seen a chocolate bar like this before!
I’m planning to try the rest of the stuff from Risa Chocolates’ product line, and I’m already confident I’m going to love them. I hope you’ll feel confident to gift this brand to the chocolate-lover in your life too!
Best for: Those with a major sweet tooth.
Among all the brands making chocolate-covered mangoes these days, this one is the newest to me. The thing that caught my eye was really the packaging. Look at this thing of beauty! I decided to go with this flavor because it says “dark chocolate” one the box.
While these are tasty, they are without a doubt pretty sweet. Those with a sweet tooth will definitely enjoy how the caramel, mango, and chocolate blend beautifully together!
Jacob’s Peanut Praline Butter
Best for: All the peanut butter lovers in the house.
I became an instant fan of these spreads the first time I tried them. As a fan of peanut butter, I’m used to having just chopped peanuts to chunk up my spread, but it turns out that I enjoy pralines too when I’m in the mood for something sweet. These come in a number of flavors: Original, Matcha, Hot Chili, and an option that is sweetened with Organic Coconut.
I believe they’re having a promo for bulk orders at the moment, but these praline butters are not that expensive to begin with so I suggest placing your orders now!
Whew! This was a long list but I look forward to giving you another one next year. I hope you found some new and interesting Pinoy products through this round-up. And to everyone planning on partying hard this Christmas, here’s a little reminder for you: