Oct 082013

ASIAWIDE Refreshments Corp. (ARC), the licensed Philippine bottler of RC Cola, has expanded its operations in Cebu, a move that is expected to better serve RC Cola’s growing consumer base in the province.

“The company’s engagement in the province will enable us to align the Visayas market with the growth of Asiawide and RC Cola in other areas,” said Gerry T. Garcia, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ARC.

As one of the key cities in the Philippines, Cebu is a major cola market and a gateway to the Visayas region.

“It is an independent market from Manila but it has always mirrored Manila in terms of being urbanized and having a developed consumer market,” he said.

Although the province represents a new frontier for ARC, Cebu is not a new consumer base for RC Cola. Garcia said that in the 1990s when RC Cola sales were still struggling in Metro Manila, the brand was already a success story in the Cebu-Visayas region.

“The point is we have yet to fully exploit the potential of RC Cola. That’s why we are excited about this development,” said Garcia.

He said Cebu will be treated as an investment market and ARC in Luzon can re-channel part of its manpower and equipment there as needed. He said there is an opportunity to enhance RC Cola’s product line-up in Cebu to cater to different price points and tastes, as the company works to optimize the brand’s availability in the market thereby becoming the soft drink of choice among consumers.

The Cebu expansion comes at a time when ARC marked its 10th anniversary just last June while managing to maintain positive growth.

“You’ll really have to go back to the roots of ARC, to the company’s modest beginnings in Antipolo, to appreciate the significance of the company’s expansion in Cebu.

Presently, ARC’s operations in other parts of the country have already achieved a high level of consumer acceptance,” said Garcia.

For Cebu, Garcia said, “We are aiming for RC Cola to be the favorite brand among softdrink consumers just like in Manila. Definitely, RC Cola International will benchmark it against our success in Luzon.” (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 09, 2013.

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