Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Philippine's largest fast-feed chain to expand into Vietnam

Jollibee to put up 5 more stores in Vietnam

Chain eyes expansions in US, China, Saudi, Indones

By Elizabeth Sanchez-Lacson
Last updated 03:22am (Mla time) 08/28/2007

Jollibee Foods Corp., the country’s biggest fast-food chain, is expanding its stores in Vietnam to nine by the end of this year as it remains very upbeat in that country’s economic prospects.

Vietnam is touted as the Pacific Rim’s fastest-growing economy after China.

Jollibee is opening five stores in Vietnam this year on top of the two company-owned units set up last year and two existing franchise outlets, sources said.

Dennis Flores, vice president and country head for Jollibee Middle East, said that Vietnam was an attractive market with a population of 85 million and an economy that was growing at 7 to 8 percent a year.

“Vietnam is an attractive market with the high growth of western fast food industry and the improving performance of our existing stores,” Flores said.

Jollibee chairman Tony Tan Caktiong has traced the fast food giant’s strong business growth in its foreign operations to continuing improvements in product tastes to suit certain markets, particularly China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Dubai and the United States.

Other food and beverage companies have also announced their expansion strategies in Vietnam, among them San Miguel Corp. and Liwayway Marketing Corp., the maker of the "Oishi" snack food brand.

Aside from Vietnam, Jollibee said it wanted to focus on expanding into the United States, China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
Tan Caktiong said the group would expand the Jollibee, Red Ribbon Bakeshop and Chowking brands in the United States.

Jollibee and Red Ribbon recently opened in Las Vegas, the biggest city in Nevada and a major tourist, shopping, vacation and gambling destination.

Red Ribbon also recently opened its first store in New Jersey on the east coast of the United States.

In China, Jollibee is keen on expanding its Yonghe King chain and to acquire three more brands, possibly in the fast food sector within the next two to three years.

Jollibee is also looking at opening its first stores in Asia’s big cities such as Jakarta in Indonesia and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

Jollibee said it remained interested in the market in India despite scuttling an acquisition earlier due to the high price being asked.