Leading Philippine food maker JG Summit Holdings Inc has invested up to US$30 million to build a biscuit plant in Shanghai, part of an aggressive plan to take on Nestle and Nabisco in China.
The plant will begin production at the end of this month, making 10,000 tons of biscuits a year under the name Aces it acquired from a local rival in 2005, according to John Gokongwei Jr, the founder and chairman emeritus of JG Summit, yesterday.
JG Summit also plans to make snack foods, cereals and instant coffee in China.
"China's biscuits industry is very fragmented. There are really no global or nationally known brands and products," the 81-year old Chinese Filipino said. "But that will change. Big conglomerates will dominate the whole country in the coming years."
The move extends JG Summit's competition against Nestle, Nabisco and Danone.
Kraft, which has just acquired the biscuits business of Groupe Danone, also plans to step up efforts such as strengthening its distribution network and broadening its biscuit portfolios to compete for the top spot in China's biscuits sector.
JG Summit, along with its major food product subsidiary, Universal Robina Corp (URC), has invested a total of 300 million yuan in China's food industry since it entered the market in 1996.
The company plans to add between US$50 million and US$60 million in China's food industry annually to boost production and complete product line-up. It now operates three plants in China, making Jack 'n' Jill chips and cereals.
JG Summit, which has registered capital of US$3 billion, is one of the largest groups in the Philippines, covering eight core businesses including aviation and real estate.
(Shanghai Daily December 19, 2007)