Philippine food company wants to satisfy ASEAN tastes

Philippine food company wants to satisfy ASEAN tastes

MANILA - When 26-year-old employee trainer Karl Molina made a recent excursion in Vietnam, he was surprised to see a familiar bottled tea he often drinks during office breaks in Manila.

"I saw C2 in Hanoi. All along, I thought it was only available in the Philippines," he said. He was even more amazed when he was told that Philippine company Universal Robina actually produced his favorite ready-to-drink tea in Vietnam.

Universal Robina's branded beverages, cookies, chips, chocolates, candies and noodles are household names in the Philippines, but many Filipinos are not aware that their much loved snacks are also enjoyed elsewhere in the region.

C2, a leading tea drink in Vietnam, is one of Universal Robina's most successful products abroad. The publicly listed company also sells potato chips, cookies and candies in Vietnam, and the Vietnamese love them so much that the company decided to build its third factory there last year.

But before its move into Vietnam, Universal Robina began its cross-border expansion in Malaysia as early as 1982. There, its snacks, wafers and chocolates were also a hit.

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