Samrej Tikkawee, marketing director of First Superfood, poses with some of the company's branded snack products - First, Lemon Jeed, and Heng Heng.
Samrej Tikkawee, marketing director of First Superfood, poses with some of the company's branded snack products - First, Lemon Jeed, and Heng Heng.

Candy/snack maker banks on innovation

Corporate January 28, 2017 01:00

By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
THE NATION

FIRST SUPERFOOD CO LTD, a candy and snack manufacturer, has set a five-year direction to focus on the creation of innovative products that fill gaps in the market, and to strengthen its position as a competitive player in the region.



The Samut Sakhon-based company will focus on the development of innovative, healthy snack products, such as healthy candy (herb candy) and functional candy (vitamin candy), as well as “play and learn” snacks, marketing director Samrej Tikkawee said. 

 “We believe that with those products we can respond to customer expectations not only in Thailand, but also internationally. With the advantage of a raw-material supply in Thailand to develop those products, we believe we can be a competitive player in the regional market. 

 “At this stage, we export to Malaysia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia and South Africa, which contribute about 25 per cent of our sales. We think that in the next five years, the export market will account for about 35-40 per cent of our sales,” he said.

 First Superfood was founded in 1987, when it commenced production of sugar-coated candy and hard candy. The company later diversified into manufacturing plastic toys for kids. 

 “Over the past several years, there have been many changes in the market, such as new competitors from overseas, new standards for exporting to many countries, changes in customer behaviour, and rising labour costs. We need to keep moving and learn new things all the time, as staying in a comfort zone is no longer enough to survive amid the cut-throat competition,” Samrej explained.

 “We cannot do everything by ourselves, so we have had to find good allies not only in our own country, but also in neighbouring markets. By focusing on local taste, we now work closely with many agents overseas to develop products that are suitable to customers in those markets, as tastes and preferences often differ from country to country,” he said. 

 Samrej added that for this year, the company would focus on catering to fast-moving changes in customer requirements, and would keep developing new products that fill gaps in the market both in the Kingdom and abroad. 

 “We will also start moving towards digital marketing by advertising via social networks and other digital markets, which might become our next main channel for communicating with customers,” the marketing director said.

 Moreover, First Superfood will continue to operate strictly in line with its motto, which is “Dream big, work hard, and surround yourself with good people”, he stressed. 

 For its factory employees, they will continue to work as a team and not limit themselves to a comfort zone, he added.