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>>  History and Nature of Business
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Associated Brands Industries Limited (ABIL) is the leading manufacturer and distributor of snack foods, chocolate confectionery, biscuits and breakfast cereals in the Caribbean. The Company has been in existence since 1974 and over the years has built up an extensive portfolio of brands including a range of about two hundred and sixteen (216) sku’s under the brand names Sunshine Snacks, Charles Candy, Devon Biscuits and Sunshine and Universal Cereals.

The Company’s manufacturing facilities are all located in Trinidad with distribution outlets in Jamaica, Barbados and St. Lucia. In total, the Company currently distributes its products to over 20 countries worldwide, reaching as far as Taiwan and Ireland. The Company has been expanding progressively over the years, constantly adding new products to its lines. During 2000, it began an extensive expansion that included redesigned production facilities, additional warehousing space as well as a new three-story corporate office complex.

The Company is headed by Arthur Lok Jack, one of the foremost businessmen in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. Mr. Lok Jack has been a key factor in the Company’s success over the years and he is supported by a team of highly qualified individuals all with long standing track records with the Company.

ABIL’s success encompasses unique and innovative merchandising, aggressive promotional and advertising programs as well as competitive pricing. The Company’s pricing strategy as well as the quality of its products has ensured affordable products to all.

ABIL’s marketing strategy is aimed at achieving growth via market penetration, market expansion and product diversification. In order to grow its market and customer base even further, the Company is currently developing a number of new market initiatives aimed at further enhancing its position throughout the Latin American region.

Specifically, expansion thrusts are being made into the Venezuelan, Colombian and the Dominican Republic markets. The company also manufactures a wide range of products for many supermarkets under their private labels, especially in the breakfast cereal category.


ABIL's operations are divided along four divisions, Charles Candy, Sunshine Snacks, Consolidated Biscuits and Universal Foods.

CHOCOLATES - Charles Candy Division

The Charles Candy operation commenced in 1974 producing a range of chocolate products. Production expanded shortly thereafter to include plain as well as chocolate covered wafers. Today, the Charles Candy division produces 56 sku's.

The division currently manufactures the following products:

  • Tablet bars;
  • Chocolate coated panned products – peanuts, raisins, almonds;
  • Chocolate coated wafers;
  • Candy bars.

SNACKS - Sunshine Snacks Division

The Sunshine Snacks Division was formed in 1977 and like the Chocolate Division, has steadily expanded its product range over the years. Sunshine Snacks presently manufactures the widest range of products of any snack manufacturer in the region , with 82 sku's.

The division manufactures a range of products such as:

  • Potato chips
  • Tortilla and Corn chips
  • Children's corn products
  • Cheese curls, cheese balls and other extruded products
  • Nuts
  • Peanuts (salted, honey roasted, or with raisins)
  • Cashew nuts
  • Mixed nuts
  • Sun mix- mixed nuts with dried fruit

BISCUITS - Consolidated Biscuits Division

The Consolidated Biscuits Division was formed in 1987 as a joint venture between ABIL and United Biscuits of England, the largest biscuit manufacturer in Europe . In 1996, ABIL acquired the minority shareholding from United Biscuits, becoming the sole owner of the Division.

At present Consolidated Biscuits produces approximately 26 different sku's such as:

  • Devon digestives (individual and roll packs)
  • Chocolate digestives (individual packs)
  • Sandwich biscuits (individual and slug packs)
  • Sweet biscuits without cream filling (roll packs)

CEREALS - Universal Foods Limited

Universal Foods Limited (UFL) is a subsidiary of the Associated Brands Investments Limited Group of companies. It is a world-class manufacturer of Ready To Eat (RTE) breakfast cereals and is the only RTE cereal manufacturer in the region.

UFL began operations in August 1986, and currently manufactures twenty types of cereals under seven different brands , with a total of 52 sku's.

Some of the traditional cereals are as follows:

  • Corn Flakes
  • Frosted Flakes
  • Nutty Flakes ‘n' Honey
  • Bran Flakes
  • Raisin Bran
  • Oat Bran Flakes

Some of the extruded cereals are:

  • Froot OOO's
  • Chocolate Raves
  • Strawberry Raves


ABIL currently markets and distributes its products in over twenty (20) countries worldwide including Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Central America, Ireland, Taiwan, United States, Caricom countries and of course Trinidad and Tobago.

ABIL's products have become household names in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean . The Company caters to all age groups with a variety of prices and product sizes.

Over the years the Company has invested significantly in advertising, both locally and internationally. ABIL uses various media for advertising and promoting its products including Point Of Purchase (POP) materials, billboards as well as radio and television. The Company also introduced “Snackie”, a promotional character, reflecting joyful, playful qualities with which kids can readily identify, for its snack line. ABIL also sponsors various community projects including the Sunshine Snacks Children's Carnival, which attracts thousands of children on an annual basis.

Management is confident however that while significance is placed on advertising in existing markets, these advertisements simply serve to reinforce the established customer loyalty that ABIL has built through its continuous investment in its brands' quality and price.

An analysis of the Company's distribution strategy by main market segments follows:

Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago , some 120 branded products are distributed to supermarkets, gas stations, canteens, small shops and pharmacies throughout the island. The medium of transportation for these products from the factory warehouse to the retailer is through a distribution system of sixty (60) sales vehicles. This system, referred to as Direct Stores Delivery, reaches over 8,000 point of sale locations on a weekly basis.

In addition to its salesmen, ABIL employs over forty (40) merchandisers who are responsible for visiting the main self-service stores, including supermarkets, on a weekly basis to promote the Company's products and ensure that the level of demand is being met. Merchandising equipment in the form of glass cases and stands carrying ABIL's products are made available in most point of sale locations.

All salesmen are equipped with hand-held computers, which allow for accurate and thorough recording of movements of inventory items including sales, returns, etc.

Due to the importance of its distribution network, the Company has in-house garages at each of its manufacturing facilities to maintain and service its fleet of trucks.

ABIL has strengthened its position in the Jamaican market by purchasing a 50,000 square foot building on a four-acre parcel of land in Portmore (just outside of the capital, Kingston ). This building serves as ABIL's main distribution centre in Jamaica with another distribution depot established in Montego Bay to serve the western part of the island. Shipments are made from Trinidad directly to both depots. The Company also uses the Direct Stores Delivery system for distribution within the island.

St. Lucia
ABIL established Sunshine Industries Limited (SIL) in St. Lucia to distribute the Group's products in that country. This Company operates with a fleet of four (4) distribution trucks.

ABIL's products are distributed in Barbados through one of the Group's distribution companies, Confectionery and Snacks ( Barbados ) Limited. Products are distributed using a fleet of six (6) trucks.

ABIL has also established overseas marketing offices in Ireland , Venezuela and Dominican Republic . Distribution to these and other export markets is facilitated through the Company's agents or other local agents, domiciled in these regions.


ABIL has four manufacturing plants, one for each of its product divisions, Chocolates, Snacks, Biscuits and Breakfast Cereals. Each plant is managed by a plant manager and has a separate team of supervisors, quality control personnel, production workers and maintenance technicians.

An overview of each plant follows:

CHARLES CANDY   Learn More >>
The Charles Candy plant is located at the Company's head office in San Juan , Trinidad . The plant is approximately 50,000 square feet in size and products are manufactured with top of the line European equipment.

The Company's snack production plant is also located in San Juan , Trinidad . This plant is approximately 50,000 square feet in size and along the lines of the other manufacturing facilities, includes a holding area, production area, packaging area and warehousing facilities for finished goods.

ABIL's biscuits processing plant is located in Arima, Trinidad . The plant is approximately 34,800 square feet in size and includes administration offices, a holding area, production area, packaging area and finished goods warehouse.

ABIL's cereal plant is strategically located in the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, Trinidad . The facility is in close proximity to one of the largest shipping ports in the region allowing for easier access to international markets.

Universal Foods Limited manufactures and exports over 65% of its throughput to markets in the Caribbean , Latin America and the U.S.A. The national brands, Sunshine and Universal are strong market leaders in all of the Caricom markets. UFL also manufactures a number of Private Label brands, as well as bulk and institutional specialty sizes, for both the local and export markets.

Additionally the cereal plant, Universal Foods Ltd., is ISO 9001-2000 certified, ensuring a high standard of quality control.


ABIL has developed stringent quality control procedures, which are adhered to by all divisions. These procedures involve an evaluation of the quality of raw materials, semi-processed goods and finished goods.

Raw material technicians inspect and test all raw materials at the point of arrival. These technicians are also responsible for inspecting the raw materials warehouse to ensure proper storage conditions.

On-line technicians test and monitor all lines of production scheduled to run each day. These technicians are responsible for evaluating both the semi-processed as well as finished goods. Samples of semi-processed products are collected and tested in a laboratory to ensure that the material has been processed according to set criteria. This testing is done at stipulated time intervals. All findings are reported to ensure the standard of the products being produced is maintained.

Finished goods are checked on the production line to ensure that the product conforms to the specified weight and dimensions, overall appearance is also checked. Samples are also collected for further lab testing. Once the finished goods have met the required standards, the product is sent for packaging.

The quality of packing material is also monitored from the stage of arrival to packaging of the finished goods. Technicians also ensure that the packaging material is properly labeled.

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