MANILA—Philippine snacks and beverage maker Universal Robina Corp. (URC) has established a joint venture with Hong Kong’s Vitasoy Group to promote high-quality sustainable food and beverage products in the country.
The joint venture company called Vitasoy-URC, Inc. shall be equally owned by URC and Vitasoy. It is expected to start commercial operations in May 2017.
URC told the local bourse it intended to enter the plant milk market and increase the sales and portfolio of its beverage business in the Philippines through the joint venture.
“We see a perfect fit in this joint venture, as both URC and Vitasoy are companies that strive to promote both consumer well-being and sustainable nutrition,” said URC’s President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Gokongwei.
Vitasoy Group Chief Executive Officer Roberto Guidetti is optimistic about the Philippine long-term growth prospects as a market for high-quality, nutritious and sustainable food and beverage products.
“Whilst confident that the long-term consumer trends are very favorable, we consider the Philippines a very developed, competitive and diversified market which will require diligent study and learning to ensure that the JV (joint venture) portfolio offering will best serve the needs and desires of the Filipino community,” he said.
“Vitasoy is excited about the partnership of two successful Asian family companies to bring high quality sustainable plant-based beverages to the Filipino community,” he added.
The joint venture company has an initial paid-in capital of PHP10 million. URC and Vitasoy will each hold 50 percent of the shares of the joint venture company.
Meanwhile, Vitasoy is a leading international manufacturer and distributor of a food and beverage portfolio focused on sustainable plant-based nutrition.
Its products include soy and other types of plant milk, such as coconut milk and almond milk, as well as tofu under the Vitasoy brand. Vitasoy also offers a variety of teas, juices, distilled water and other beverages under the Vita brand.
Made with non-GMO soybeans, Vitasoy’s soy milk portfolio offers a variety of formulations such as those that have zero cholesterol, are lactose free, low in saturated fat and rich in good quality protein.
Vitasoy currently has manufacturing operations in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Australia and Singapore, and sells to more than 40 markets globally.