A group of Cebuano entrepreneurs turned a classic Filipino dish that normally takes several hours to prepare into effortless table fare. Plantation Prime is not stopping with just the canned Beef Shank Kare-Kare, either.
The young brand has added longganisa to its list of available products and pretty soon, Bicol express, chili con carne, spaghetti, and maybe humba in a can.
In deciding on product offerings, Plantation Prime looks at dishes that the everyday consumer would love to cook but doesn’t have time to prepare, according to Managing Director Brian Noel. He said the Beef Shank Kare-Kare was the family recipe of one of their incorporators.
“We conceptualized the brand in 2018, originally targeting Filipinos who live overseas. With my fellow incorporators and I having lived abroad, we know firsthand the lack of options for Filipino comfort food. This is especially true in the context of those who live fast-paced lives and have little time to prepare meals,” he added.
Since the US does not yet accept meat products from the Philippines, the company had to put plans on hold and concentrate on the local market. It is also exploring ways to sell in places with a big population of Filipinos such as the Middle East, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Beef shank kare-kare
Noel said they perfected the beef shank kare-kare (beef stew in peanut sauce) after several attempts and began selling their first canned product in August 2020.
“We had to do a lot of trial and error when we started putting kare-kare in a can,” he explained, adding that the main difference between the normal way of preparing kare-kare and successfully putting it in a can while retaining its rich taste is to pressure cook it for an hour in high temperature to kill bacteria and ensure shelf life of two years.
In Cebu, Plantation Prime products are now available at online delivery shop CloudKart, Metro Stores supermarkets, Marketplace, Fooda Savers Mart, and Robinsons Supermarket. They’ve also been recently made available in Metro Stores supermarkets in Luzon, Alturas in Bohol, and selected groceries in Mindanao.
The kare-kare and longganisa come in 420 g. easy-to-open cans that are good for 2 to 3 people. In the case of the kare-kare, one can choose to simply reheat the contents of the can or add vegetables like bok choy and eggplant.
Plantation Prime’s manufacturing plant in Mactan currently produces only 300 units per day. It also alternates production between kare-kare and longganisa.
An ongoing promotion for May at cloudkart.ph involves free delivery of grocery orders containing 500 pesos worth of Plantation Prime products. To complete the kare-kare experience, vegetable ingredients like bok choy and eggplant as well as bagoong for relish by KarEnina’s Kitchen are also available at the online grocery shop.