Zest-O Group Eyes Further Overseas Expansion

Zest-O Group Eyes Further Overseas Expansion

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Beverage manufacturer Zest-O Group is looking to expand in Southeast Asia and China even amid softened demand due to taxes levied on sugar-sweetened beverages.

“Maybe not the Zest-O (products) that you know here. A different product maybe we have. A coconut-based beverage will be good for China,” Zest-O Group chairman Alfredo Yao told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Business Conference and Expo.

Yao, said they intend to expand its manufacturing plant in China.

He said the company is also keen on building production plants in other Southeast Asian countries, apart from Vietnam and Indonesia, where it has presence.

“Southeast Asia muna syempre (first, of course). That’s population-based — 600 million (population) in Asean,” he added.

Yao further bared plans for an overseas acquisition, without providing further details.

“Next week, we will announce it. We have to advise the PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange) muna (first),” he said.

Listed Macay Holdings, Inc. fully acquired ARC Holdings, Inc. (ARCHI), which has a concentrate supply agreement and trademark licensing agreement with Royal Crown Cola International.

Yao noted that the group is gearing up for continued expansion despite the softening of demand resulting from taxes levied on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Such taxes are stipulated under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

Yao said they have been incurring a 30-percent decline in sales volumes since the implementation of the tax in January 2018.

“We have recovered na (already) since last quarter. Zest-O is catering (to) the masa (masses). Everywhere nagkaroon ng (there is) tax ang mga drinks, there is (an) adjustment period. It doesn’t matter if one year or two years, depende sa reaction ng tao (depending on the reaction of consumers),” he added. (PNA)

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