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John Gokongwei Jr.’s successful brew


Spanning over four and a half decades, Blend 45 continues to provide Filipinos the smooth, rich coffee taste that’s created especially for the Pinoy palate. The Blend 45 success story began with the dream of a visionary, JG Summit Holdings Chairman Emeritus and entrepreneur extraordinaire, John Gokongwei Jr.  Gokongwei himself started the Blend 45 business, which became instrumental in the growth of JG Summit’s Universal Robina Corporation (URC), currently one of the largest Filipino food and beverage manufacturers. One of the most admired minds in Philippine business, he recalls how the first locally manufactured coffee brand grew into what it is today.

*The first brew

The year was 1961 and it was a challenge for the young Gokongwei to grow a brand and a business… but he was one brand manager who had full confidence in his first “major” product, Blend 45.

“Coffee is and always will be a mass market product,” he declares. “I felt that the time was right then to launch Blend 45. More Filipinos were really starting to appreciate good coffee and it was time to offer the market affordable, quality coffee that perfectly suited the Filipino taste.”

Immediately after it was launched, Blend 45 proved to be a resounding success, quickly edging out top competitors at the time and giving Consolidated Food Corporation—the precursor to URC—the leading headway in the industry. Gokongwei could not be more pleased.

“It was a roaring success,” he shares. “It was evidence that we had a good product and price mix—even up to 40 percent more affordable than our main competitors then. We were able to take over the market within two short years.”

*Hot cup of success

Despite a strong introduction, the brand did not sit on its laurels. In the following years, Blend 45 followed up its successful entrance by coming up with more coffee innovations for Filipinos from all walks of life. As a result, the brand successfully established its reputation as “the Pinoy coffee” for everyone across the country.

“By 1976, URC had built significant businesses in food products anchored by a branded coffee called Blend 45,” Gokongwei says.

Throughout the years, Blend 45, under Gokongwei’s expert guidance, maintained its position in the hearts of Filipinos with its consistently Pinoy image. The product-price mix that boosted the brand’s initial success stayed, and until today, Blend 45 is sold at a price every Filipino can afford. It even offers a single-serve instant coffee pack and a 3-in-1 sachet at the unbeatable prices of P1.50 and P4.00, respectively, in sari-sari stores. Of course, the product continues to be first-rate, offering that unique taste that Pinoys love.

Gokongwei adds: “I want to see Blend 45 on the breakfast table of every Filipino.”

The Blend 45 story continues to endure with Gokongwei at the helm. Never failing to innovate, Blend 45 will remain committed to serving Filipinos affordable and delicious coffee to generations of Filipinos.

For John Gokongwei Jr., Chairman Emeritus of JG Summit Holdings Inc., the taste of success is bold and rich, just like Blend 45.

Generations of Filipino coffee drinkers continue to prefer the smooth and rich flavor of Blend 45.

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