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Joint Venture between Nissin HK & Frente to Sell Karamucho Potato Chips in HK

On January 31, Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd. established―through its Hong Kong subsidiary―a joint venture company called "Nissin-Koikeya (China-Hong Kong)" in Hong Kong with Frente Co., Ltd. Hong Kong Nissin owns a 66% stake and Frente a 34% stake.

Nissin Hong Kong has a dominant position in the instant ramen market, due principally to products like Demae Itcho and Cup Noodle. The company's share of noodles sold in cellophane packages is around 60% and around 80% for instant noodles sold in a cup. Now the company is wielding its powerful sales network to launch snack products.

The first of these products are Karamucho hot chili pepper potato chips and Suppamucho sour potato chips. According to Nissin Hong Kong, "Instead of selling products with the same flavor as those in Japan, we've developed new products to gain acceptance among Hong Kong locals... Karamucho packs a spicier punch."

Nissin Hong Kong and Frente formed a business and capital tie-up in 2011 and have collaborated on product development, marketing, procurement, production, sales and more. Thus they began talking about a venture early last year. Due to what they see as synergistic effects in growing their business overseas, future economic growth, market potential and other factors, they ended up setting up a joint venture in Hong Kong. Because of the continuing growth in the Hong Kong and Macao snack markets, the two companies' idea is to open up opportunities in those markets by combining their strengths: the powerful sales strength and marketing prowess Nissin Hong Kong has in the food category of those markets, and the advantage Frente has as a Koikeya company with snack product development capabilities and production knowhow.

The new products are scheduled to hit the shelves of large supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail outlets in late February.

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