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Japan’s Calbee teams up with URC to tap Filipino snack food market

By Ankush Chibber , 03-Feb-2014

Japan’s Calbee teams up with URC to tap Filipino snack food market

Filipino food major Universal Robina Corp's has partnered with Calbee Inc., Japan's largest snack food company, a move that will further establish both firms in Philippines’ growing packaged food market.

In a statement, Calbee said that it plans to establish Calbee-URC Inc, a 50-50 joint venture company with a capital of US$13m, to manufacture and sell snack foods in the southeast Asian country by April of this year.

Joint-venture

“In line with our global strategy, we have decided to establish a joint-venture company with URC, which has strong sales and brands in the Philippine market. The joint-venture aims to grow sales of Calbee products and expand market share in the Philippines, one of the promising snack foods markets,” Calbee said.

Calbee manufactures and sells snack confectionary, bakery products and cereal, with sales of over US$1.7bn and a 50% percent share of the snack food market in Japan.

“We aim to achieve US$39m of annual net sales within six years of business commencement. We believe the joint venture will contribute to Calbee's medium-to-long-term business performance,” the Japanese company said.

Market leader

URC is the Philippines’ market leader in salty snacks, sweets, chocolates, and ready-to-drink tea categories, and is the number two player in the coffee market.

“URC and Calbee are currently pursuing talks to put up a joint-venture company in the Philippines. At this point, details of the JV and other specific agreements are still under discussion,” Mike Liwanag, URC vice president for corporate planning, told local media.

URC is the firm behind the C2 tea drink and Jack 'N Jill snack foods. The company’s net income rose 23.6% in the last financial year on the strength of its branded foods business in the Philippines.

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