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Philippines ready for blue chip snacks

MANILA -- Universal Robina (URC) and Japan's Calbee have launched a range of upmarket snacks a year after forming a 50-50 joint venture to produce Calbee products in the Philippines.

Universal Robina's Chief Executive Officer Lance Gokongwei, center, hopes to sell 1.7 billion pesos of upmarket snacks over the next five in a venture with Japan’s Calbee targeting the emerging middle class.

     The seven potato snacks, which include wasabi-flavored chips tweaked for Philippine taste buds, are up to 40% more expensive than anything previously produced by URC, according to Teree Eugenio, the Calbee-URC general manager.

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