Ajinomoto Sales (Thailand) Co, a consolidated subsidiary of Japan-based Ajinomoto Co Inc, began full-scale operation this month of its second factory for Birdy canned coffee with an investment of about 4.5 billion yen or Bt1.4 billion.
Production capacity has been doubled to 750 million cans per year to meet growing demand from Thai consumers in the future.
With investment in new production facilities in 2008, the factory began integrated production from roasting and extraction to blending and filling, using coffee beans grown in Thailand, and currently works continuously to improve quality.
Launched in 1993, Birdy was Thailand’s first canned coffee (iced coffee). It created the market for canned coffee as the leading brand, with a market share of 70 per cent. As it reaches the 20th anniversary of its launch during the current fiscal year, Birdy canned coffee is still one of AST’s core businesses, and sales continue to grow steadily.
Birdy first gained popularity mainly among male drivers in their 30s and 40s as a convenient way of drinking iced coffee that made them feel awake and refreshed but required no preparation.
Beverages account for 10 per cent of the approximately 200 billion yen in sales of the Ajinomoto Group’s overseas consumer foods business, and sales are steadily growing.