Universal Robina

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Universal Robina Corporation (URC)
Type Public
Traded as PSEURC
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1954
Headquarters Quezon City, Philippines
Key people John Gokongwei, Founder and Chairman Emeritus
Products Confectionery, Snack foods, Grocery and convenience foods, Beverages
Parent JG Summit Holdings
Website Universal Robina Corporation Website

Universal Robina Corporation or URC is one of the largest brand in the Philippines.[1]

History and profile[edit]

Universal Robina Corporation (URC) traced its beginnings all the way back to 1954. John Gokongwei, Jr. was doing very well then as a trader/importer. He had learned the trade when his father died before the war, and had worked hard through the war and postwar years to prosper. However, while he thrived, he took a long hard look at his company, and correctly predicted that trading would remain a low-margin business.

On the other hand, a successful manufacturer controlling its own production and distribution would command more profitable margins. Mr. John decided to construct a corn milling plant to produce glucose and cornstarch, Universal Corn Products (UCP), the first building block of the company that would become URC.

For a time, business was good. However, Mr. John was still looking ahead, working with an eye towards the future. While the business was doing very well, it was producing essentially a commodity, which a customer could easily access elsewhere. To stay ahead in the game, Mr. John had to diversify by producing and marketing his own branded consumer foods, similar to the multinational companies in the Philippines like Nestle and Procter & Gamble. In a sense, he wanted to put up the first ‘local’ MNC, borne out of their best practices.

Thus, in 1961, Consolidated Food Corporation was born. Their first ‘home run’ product was Blend 45, the first locally-manufactured coffee blend, dubbed as the “Pinoy coffee”. This became the largest-selling coffee brand in the market, even beating market leaders Café Puro and Nescafe. After coffee came chocolates. Nips, a panned chocolate similar to M&Ms, was a staple of Filipino childhood.

In 1963, Robina Farms started operations, beginning with poultry products. This was also the beginning of the vertical integration of the Gokongwei businesses, as the farms would be able to purchase feeds from UCP in the future. Later that decade, Robichem Laboratories would be put up, to cater to the veterinary needs of the farms businesses. Robina Farms expanded as it entered the hogs business in the latter part of the 70s.

1966 saw the establishment of Universal Robina Corporation, which pioneered the savory snacks industry in the Philippines through its Chiz Curls, Chippy, and Potato Chips, under the “Jack ‘n Jill” brand. Other snack products would follow over the years, as the company successfully introduced market leaders like Jack 'n Jill Pretzels (pretzels), Piattos (fabricated potato chips), and Maxx (hard candy).

The coming decades saw more acquisitions and expansion. In the early 1970s, the Gokongwei family entered the commodities business through the formation of Continental Milling Corporation, for flour milling and production. The late 1980s brought the acquisition of three sugar mills and refineries, under URC Sugar. These two businesses provided stable cash flows, and allowed for further vertical integration in the supply chain, to help URC weather any volatility in the cyclical commodities markets. In line with this strategy, the late 1990s saw the entry of URC into the plastics business, through URC Packaging.

As the businesses became more diversified, the companies were slowly integrated in order to streamline operations and minimize costs. In 2005, the present structure of the group was completed. All the different companies are now organized under Universal Robina Corporation, divided into three focused groups:

  • the Branded Consumer Foods Group, composed of BCFG Domestic (including packaging) and URC International, for the production and sale of snacks, beverage, and grocery products,
  • the Agro-Industrial Group, composed of Universal Corn Products, Robina Farms, and Robichem, for the production and sale of animal feeds, day-old chicks, hogs, and veterinary medicine,
  • and the Commodity Foods Group, with the Sugar and Flour divisions, for the production of flour and sugar, and for sugar milling and refining services.

URC is a core subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (JGSHI) which is one of the largest business conglomerates listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange.[1]

URC owned the Philippine Basketball Association franchise Great Taste Coffee Makers which played from the inaugural 1975 season to 1992 when the company sold the team to Sta. Lucia Realty. The Coffee Makers won 6 PBA championships.

List of products[edit]

Snack foods[edit]

  • Jack 'n Jill
    Waffles (pancake with ridges chip)
    Piattos (hexagonal-shaped fabricated potato chip)
    Potato Chips (natural potato chip)
    Tortillos (Barbecue Flavored Corn Snacks
    V-Cut (ridged natural potato chip)
    Chippy (rectangular corn chip)
    Taquitos (circular corn chip)
    Mr. Chips (triangular corn chip)
    Tostillas (triangular corn chip, although the size is bigger than Mr. Chips)
    Roller Coaster (a looped fabricated potato snack)
    Chiz Curls (cheese flavored extruded corn-based snack)
    Chicharron ni Mang Juan (Vegetarian Chicharron snack)
    Nova (Multigrain snack)
    X.O. (deposited candy) available in coffee, caramel, milkshake and white coffee
    Maxx (mentholated hard candy) available in iceman, extra strength, cherry, dalandan orange, honeymansi, honey lemon and eucalyptus
    Dynamite (creme-filled mint-flavored candy) available in mint choco and melon
    Lush (chocolate creme-filled chocolate soft candy similar to Tootsie Rolls but is filled with chocolate creme)
    Jojo Gummi (gummy candies)
    Wiggles (milk chocolate or mocha-covered marshmallows)
    Star Fruits (fruity soft candy)
    Star Pops (fruit or chocolate flavored lollipops)
    Big Bang (nougat and rice crispies smothered in milk chocolate)
    Chooey Choco (butterscotch caramel covered in chocolate)
    Chooey Toffee (toffee caramel covered in chocolate)
    Cloud 9 (nougat, caramel and peanuts covered in milk chocolate, similar to Snickers)
    Nips (candy-coated chocolate with mini versions and peanut and crispies variants)
    Cereal Bars
    Nova Multigrain Snack Bars (cereal bar made with a variety of healthy grains and has only 99 calories)
    Magic Flakes Premium Crackers (soda crackers)
    Magic Flavors (Flavored Crackers)
    Magic Creams (Sandwich Crackers)
    Magic Chips (Bite-Sized Flavored Crackers)
    Magic Thins
    Presto Creams (sandwich cream cookies)
    Cream-O (cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies)
    Dewberry (creme-filled sandwich cookies with jam topping)
    Nova Multigrain Cookies (crunchy multigrain oatmeal with raisins)
    Rainbow Bites (bite-sized cookies with candy-coated chocolate pieces)
    Jack 'n Jill Pretzels (chocolate/strawberry/milk coated stick pretzels)
    Choco Knots (chocolate-covered twisted pretzels)
    Berry Knots (strawberry milk-covered twisted pretzels)
    Milky Knots (milk-covered twisted pretzels)
    Hello! Wafers
    Hello! Wafrets
    Hello! Pipers
    Quake Overload (chocolate-covered creme-filled chocolate cakes)
    Quake Cups (muffins filled with creme)
  • Granny Goose
    Brew Bud (flavored wheat chip)
    Kornets (cone-shaped corn chip)
    Tortillos (circular corn chip)


  • Bottled Beverages
    C2 Green Tea
    Coffee Twist[2]
    Hidden Spring Mineral Water
    Nestle Pure Life Water
    Refresh Mineral Water
    Refresh Purified Water
  • Others
    Refresh Juice Powder, Water in Cups and Juice in Cups
    Refresh Juicy Jelly
  • Energy Drink
    Red Dragon Active Smart

Grocery and convenience food products[edit]

  • Nissin products (manufactured in the Philippines under a joint venture company with Nissin Foods of Japan)[3]
    Nissin Ramen
    Nissin Instant Mami
    Nissin Yakisoba
    Nissin Cup Noodles
    Nissin's Yakisoba Cup Noodles
  • Payless Noodle Products
    Payless Instant Noodles
    Payless Instant Pancit Canton
    Payless Spaghetti
    Payless Macaroni
    Payless Pancit Shanghai
  • Others
    Cream-All Non-Dairy Creamer
    Great Taste Premium Blend coffee
    Great Taste Granulated Coffee
    Blend 45 coffee
    Great Taste Coffee Mixes
    Great Taste RTD
    Great Taste Iced Coffee

Hunts-URC products[edit]

Hunts-URC is a joint venture between URC and ConAgra Foods, Inc.

  • Hunt's
    Tomato Sauce
    Tomato Paste
    Pork n' Beans
    Spaghetti Sauce
    Tomato Ketchup
    Baked Beans
  • Swiss Miss
    Complete Cocoa Mix
    RTD Milk Shakes

See also[edit]