I’m gonna get straight to the point: the HUGE difference between Produkto Lokal and the Streetfood Night Market at City Time Square – Iloilo is that the streetfood night market has managed to attract vendors and patrons from the middle-class and upper-middle class segments of Ilonggo society. Meanwhile, Produkto Lokal does not feel like it’s still for the masses.
This is due to the fact that the streetfood night market is geared towards supporting SME (small to medium enterprise) food vendors 100%. Take note: these vendors are able to sell and serve their customers at City Time Square without having to pay rent for space, tables, and chairs.
Compare that to Produkto Lokal’s business model, where they really try to do business and turn a profit… for themselves. I mean, the last time I inquired about their rates, they were asking P2,500 for two days, and that was from October 2018! If you were an SME and wanted to participate at one of Produkto Lokal’s fairs, you’d have to jack up the price of your wares to make a reasonable return from your investment.
Produkto Lokal looks to make a profit for themselves, not for the vendors attending one of their fairs. The dwindling number of vendors for Produkto Lokal might even attest to that. Year after year, the vendors attending the event has slowly but steadily shrunk. Compare that to the streetfood night market where the number of vendors actually grew during the second iteration of the event.
The last time I visited a Produkto Lokal fair at Festive Mall Iloilo, there were around ten vendors (more or less) selling essential oils, handcrafted jewelry, home décor items, and accessories for the Iloilo fashionistas. Whereas at the streetfood night market, there was isaw, chicken feet, siomai, and pork inasal along with milk tea, bulalo, and sisig.
I even saw both a lechon vendor and another vendor selling salted peanuts not ten feet away from each other, both sharing the same space. What’s more impressive is that the salted peanuts were available for ten pesos (the usual street price).
I wonder what the price would be if that peanut vendor was at Produkto Lokal? Would that peanut vendor even be able to afford a kiosk at Produkto Lokal?