(Metro News) Nestle plans to open ice cream parlor near former site in Cubao

August 7, 2010 11:24 pm 

MANILA, Aug. 7 – Nestlé Philippines Inc. (NPI) said over the weekend it plans to open an ice cream parlor near its old site in Cubao, Quezon City.

The NPI Ice Cream Plant, the local arm of the Swiss food giant Nestle, inaugurated its new P700-million chilled dairy factory in Pulilan, Bulacan last March after closing the old plant on Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City in September 2009

NPI officials said they expect improved efficiency for its ice cream business after shifting production to a Bulacan factory from its old site in Quezon City.

“The ice cream and marketing teams are now based in Makati City. The former place in Quezon City is being developed as Robinsons Land Magnolia Residences,” said NPI sales and marketing supervisor Catalina A. Pineda.

Pineda said NPI top brass are studying the possibilities of opening a Nestle Ice Cream Parlor at the proposed Magnolia Residences.

She noted that from the 1960s until the 1990s, Magnolia Ice Cream operated an ice cream parlor at its plant along Aurora Boulevard in New Manila, "where customers could feast on traditional concoctions like banana splits, sundaes and parfaits."

Magnolia opened many additional locations around the city. The parlor was part of the deal when Magnolia was acquired by Nestle in 1996 and the name Magnolia was phased into Nestle-branded ice creams, but it was reintroduced in 2004 by San Miguel Corporation and the parlor reopened with a partner in 2008.

Pineda said the division has been marketed as one of the "family" brands of San Miguel. The reintroduction followed the expiration of a non-compete clause.

The decision to move was prompted by the expiry of the old plant’s lease and also by considerations on long-term efficiencies, NPI said without elaborating.

“The goal for the new factory is to make it the benchmark facility for delivering world-class performance in the production of ice cream and chilled dairy,” NPI said.

Pineda said over 200 workers are manning the new 4.5-hectare Bulacan plant. The Aurora factory had occupied 5.25 hectares.

The Aurora Boulevard lot was leased by Nestlé Philippines from San Miguel Corp. after the latter’s exit from an ice cream joint venture in 1998. Nestlé Philippines then took over the manufacturing plant which used to churn out Magnolia ice cream.

San Miguel has since reentered the ice cream market, relaunching Magnolia in 2004 to challenge Nestlé Philippines and market leader Selecta. Selecta is owned by a joint venture between RFM Corp. and Unilever Philippines, Unilever RFM Ice Cream Inc.

In December 2008, San Miguel Properties Inc. sold the lot to Gokongwei-led property developer Robinsons Land Corp., which plans to build a condominium called the “Magnolia Residences” and a shopping mall. (PNA) scs/JCA

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