Sat, Dec 22, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Calbee Taipei aiming for 10% snack market share

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Wei Chuan Corp chairman Wei Yin-chun and Calbee Foods Co chairman Akira Matsumoto, left, shake hands yesterday at the launch of a joint-venture production line making Jagabee-brand potato snacks.

Photo: Yang Ya-min, Taipei Times

Wei Chuan Food Corp (味全食品工業), a Taiwan-based manufacturer of Chinese condiments, canned goods, drinks and frozen goods, expects its joint venture with a Japanese company in Taiwan to take a 10 percent market share of Taiwan’s snack food market next year, a company official said yesterday.

Wei Chuan and Calbee Inc, a leading snack food company in Japan that operates the well-known snack brand Jagabee, established a joint venture — Calbee (Taipei) Foods Co Ltd (台北卡樂比食品) — in June with registered capital of NT$250 million (US$8.58 million).

The joint venture saw its first production line in Yunlin County start mass production yesterday. The two companies said they hope that consumers can soon purchase products made in Taiwan.

“We hope Calbee Taipei will become the company making the highest sales in Taiwan’s snack food market in five years,” Wei Yin-chun (魏應充), chairman of Wei Chuan — which holds 49 percent stake of Calbee Taipei — told a media briefing.

The plant, in Douliu City (斗六), Yunlin County, cost more than NT$100 million to build and has the same automated production equipment used in Calbee’s production lines in Japan, the companies said.

Wei maintained an upbeat outlook for Jababee’s products in Taiwan, following pilot sales of snacks in supermarkets and convenient stores.

Taiwan’s snack market has matured, with total sales amounting to about NT$6 billion per year, Wei said.

Wei added he expects the company’s sales to reach NT$600 million next year, with market share standing at 10 percent.

In the new year, Wei said Wei Chuan employees may receive a 3 percent pay raise, with some employees being promoted and receiving 5 percent raises.

Wei also said all employees of the company could receive at least three months’ salary as an annual bonus before the Lunar New Year in February.

The Chinese market could soon be the main revenue earner for Wei Chuan, Wei said, adding that he expects revenue from China to surpass local sales in 2015.

In the first nine months, consolidated revenue totaled NT$21.62 billion, up 13.97 percent from a year earlier.

Net profits were NT$660.8 million, or NT$1.31 per share, up from a net profit of NT$556.78 million, or NT$1.1 per share, recorded a year earlier, company’s statistics showed.

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