Within 20 yards of our front door there are 3 Sari Sari stores all selling essentially the same things and all with a steady stream of customers. The supermarket we patronize the most also caters to the Sari Sari stores and on weekends getting through the checkouts takes considerably longer than filling the cart. It is not uncommon to see shoppers with 2 or 3 carts full of a dozen items of this and a dozen items of that and all of them individual servings.
Being affluent enough to buy my coffee by the jar, milk by the carton and sugar by the 2kg bag a cup of coffee costs me 2.8 pesos. A 3 in 1 sachet from the Sari Sari store costs 6 pesos. For so many Filipinos the concept of a weekly or fortnightly shop is not an option, spending 500 pesos for a months supply of coffee just isn’t in the budget. Consequently the least able to afford to do so pay the top dollar for their purchases.