Splash unit diversifying

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MANILA, Philippines—Personal care products and food manufacturer Splash Corp. is diversifying into the distribution of high-value food condiments from Australia and Thailand to complement its food business.

Splash said its subsidiary, Prime Global Corp., had entered into deals to provide nationwide logistics services to two fast-growing food products: Master Chef Sea Salt from Australia and Royal Brands Fish Sauce from Thailand.

In an interview, Splash executive vice president and chief finance officer Veneranda Tomas said the group would carry foreign brands of condiments to make the most out of its distribution network. While the initial plan was to distribute these products locally, she said talks were underway to also bring them to offshore markets through the same trading channels that were being used for other products, particularly those under the Barrio Fiesta brand.

“Barrio Fiesta is strong in North America,” she said.

Locally, Tomas said Splash was aware that condiments were very “commoditized” products in the country which was why, she noted, the group was focusing on “specialty” condiments that command higher value.

The two foreign brands to be distributed by Splash, she said, would complement Barrio Fiesta products such as bagoong (shrimp paste sauce) and the newly launched Tuba vinegar.

Prime Global was set up last year by Splash to optimize the group’s resources by having its products distributed in the same network. It is now a full service sales, marketing and logistics company in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.

For the foreign condiments, Tomas said Prime Global would not import the products itself but would only provide logistics support to the local companies that were importing them—Arvin International and Royal Brands.

Splash entered the food business in 2011 when it acquired a controlling stake in Barrio Fiesta Manufacturing, which produces sautéed shrimp paste, ready-to-eat canned meals, sauces such as white vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, lechon sauce and fruit preserves. The deal did not include the Barrio Fiesta chain of restaurants.

Led by the Hortaleza family, Splash aspires to be a major player in the food industry using the Barrio Fiesta brand as its platform.

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