Food company URC forays into rubbing alcohol production

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — Universal Robina Corp. is adding rubbing alcohol to its product offerings amid strong demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Gokongwei-owned company said it has started production of two alcohol brands, hoping to generate sales and grab a portion of the market.

URC is behind popular snack brands like Chippy, Piattos, and Magic Flakes, as well as drinks like Great Taste and C2.

URC's Agro-Industrial & Commodities Division is producing the Shield+ and BioSure alcohol brands.

They which will be produced at the URC La Carlota Distillery in Negros Occidental, which currently produces raw and refined sugar alongside molasses.

The facility has an integrated sugar mill and bio-ethanol distillery generated from sugarcane.

"The pandemic has led to high demand for hygiene and sanitation products, including rubbing alcohol. That demand will likely remain, even after the pandemic subsides," the company said in a statement.

BioSure has already been rolled out in community stores this November, and is made from naturally-sourced ethyl alcohol. Agri-dealers will receive stocks nationwide by December.

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The Shield+ product will also be available in the market next month and will come in varying sizes, including pocket-sized spray bottles and gallon containers. It will offer pharmaceutical-grade rubbing alcohol capable of killing 99.9% of germs upon contact, enhanced with vitamin E and collagen to prevent dry skin, and will come in aqua clean and pink fresh scents.

Other conglomerates have also ventured into the production of disinfectants, such as San Miguel Corp. through its Ginebra San Miguel unit, and the Alliance Global Group's Emperador brand.