URC faces the new normal

The Philippine Star

October 18, 2021 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines – Universal Robina Corp. (URC), owned by Gokongwei, has adapted to the new normal as it has minimized disruption to its overseas operations.

URC President and CEO Irwin Lee said that while the past year has been difficult due to COVID-19, the company has been able to adapt and cope with the new normality.

“We’ve minimized both the disruption to our operations and the impact that the restrictions and subsequent downturn has had on our workforce,” Lee said.

URC is now a large multinational, with its consumer products now on the shelves in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, among others.

Among the company’s overseas market leaders are its Fun-O cookies and Tivoli wafers in Thailand. Its C2 ready-to-drink infused tea also remains one of the best sellers in Vietnam.

Lee attributed URC’s strong overseas performance to distribution networks rooted in their close ties with retailers.

In Thailand, URC subsidiaries directly serve 7-Eleven outlets, as well as supermarkets operated by Makro, Tesco Lotus and Big C. The company’s products are also sold through wholesalers and itinerant vendors.

URC first ventured overseas in the 1970s, making its first foray into Hong Kong.

It then opened a factory in Malaysia in the 1980s, the same decade it entered Singapore.

In 1992, the company set foot in Thailand where it now has six production plants and research facilities to sell cookies, wafers, candies and snacks both domestically and internationally. ‘export.

In 2002, URC made its foray into Indonesia where it now has two factories and more than 700 employees. In 2004, it expanded into Vietnam, where it now operates five manufacturing plants with over 1,500 employees.

The company also expanded into Myanmar in 2015, where it produces and sells cookies, crackers and wafers. URC is also present in China.

“We’ve capitalized on the lifting of trade barriers to realign capabilities and manufacture products where economies exist,” Lee said.

URC’s products are also exported to the Americas, the European Union and the Middle East. The company also expanded to Mongolia, East Africa and the Pacific Islands.

The company remains focused on maintaining product quality, even as it ensures sufficient supply for its customers, wherever they are.

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