Drinkologist Co, the local distributor of IF Fruitamin juice, has set a three-year strategy for expansion into Asean.
The company targets having distribution networks in all Asean markets, covering all retail channels, including convenience stores and traditional-trade outlets.
“We have already appointed local distributors in nine Asean countries, who will be in charge of distributing our IF Fruitamin products in their own markets. We have already started distribution in Singapore, Laos, Myanmar and Brunei,” said Pongsakorn Pongsak, chief executive officer of Drinkologist Co.
Pongsakorn is also a major shareholder of General Beverage Co, which produces IF Fruitamin juice in Nakhon Pathom province.
He said the company had set out a five-year plan starting from last year to invest Bt5 billion in its plant, mainly to expand the production lines. About Bt1.4 billion of this budget was invested last year.
“We will increase our distribution centres from eight currently to 12 next year, covering all regions throughout the Kingdom. The expansion aims at not only increasing local demand for premium fruit juices, but also as a major preparation to cash in on the AEC’s implementation,” Pongsakorn said.
He said the company expected the sales contribution from markets in the Asean Economic Community to reach about 20 per cent in three years, while 65 per cent of sales would be from the domestic Thailand market. The rest would be from other overseas markets beyond Asean, such as South Korea, China, the United States and Europe.
Drinkologist has seen an opportunity in the trend towards health consciousness and adjusted its strategies to serve it, both in Thailand and other markets around the world, after successfully launching IF Fruitamin last September. It is marketed as “premium fruit juice”.
The company recently launched “IF Local Sensation Tamarind Juice” in the domestic market. Promising buyers they can “look good in the natural way”, it appeals to health-oriented first-jobbers, Drinkologist says. The new product is available in 350-millilitre packs at convenience and general stores, priced at Bt15 each.
“The total market value of fruit drinks amounts to Bt12 billion, of which 10 per cent goes to Asian drinks, or the equivalent of Bt1.2 billion. This reflects consumer behaviour that is shifting towards choosing herbal drinks for health benefits,” Pongsakorn said.
He said the company expects its IF Fruitamin products to gain 30 per cent of the premium-fruit-juice market in the first year, with its Local Sensation Tamarind Juice earning 20 per cent of the Asian drink segment in the same period.
“Although the competition in the fruit-juice market is very severe, it’s necessary to stimulate the market to grow. Consumers are given more choices. The entry of new operators and the development of existing players in the market will help develop the fruit-juice products.
“IF Tamarind Local Sensation is an answer. It’s for consumers who pay more attention to health and skin care.
The new product also strengthens the brand in the country and will get us ready to expand to other countries – Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, for example – to support the upcoming AEC in 2015.”