Danone Asia Holdings Private Ltd. and Universal Robina Corp (URC) have entered into a 50-50 agreement in October 2014 to set up Danone Universal Robina Beverages Inc. Danone Asia manufactures and supplies fresh dairy products, waters, early life nutrition, and medical nutrition.
The news did not mention what type of products the two will collaborate but my guess is it will be aquadrink, represented by Mizone and is highly successful in Indonesia and China.
URC does not have a presence in the isotonic drink segment yet. At the moment, the market is largely dominated by PepsiCo’s Gatorade. Asia Brewery Inc (ABI), the leader in the energy drink category through Cobra, has 100Plus in its portfolio but 100Plus is still a minor player along with Pocari Sweat, Powerade and Vitamin Boost. Essentially, the market is open to a successful product that can upset the domination of Gatorade.
Danone will surely be hoping to replicate in the Philippines Mizone’s success in China and Indonesia. Perhaps Mizone in the Philippines will adopt as in the case of Indonesia the lifestyle drink approach focusing on energy-giving properties and hydration for busy consumers. Let’s see if my guess is right.