GREEN DAY Global, which makes and distributes healthy dried fruit and vegetable snacks, is spending Bt150 million to add a second production centre in Samut Prakan province.
Starting up in November or December, the new plant will have a capacity to produce about 200 tonnes of dried fruits and vegetables a month, compared with 80 to 90 tonnes at the company's existing factory, also in Samut Prakan. That factory is running at full capacity and cannot be expanded.
Managing director Pongpan Saivanich said that the capacity expansion would facilitate sales growth, both in Thailand and abroad. Green Day Global posted Bt500 million in total sales last year, of which 70 per cent came from exports. The company aims to achieve Bt1 billion in annual sales in the next two years, of which Bt700 million to Bt800 million will be from exports.
The company sells its dried fruits and vegetable snacks in more than 20 markets around the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Estonia, Denmark, France, the United States and Australia.
“We have introduced to the world Thai fruits and vegetables in the form of healthy snacks with the best quality. We will have products with organic choices and that will be healthier for customers while giving farmers a better life,” Pongpan said.
“The dehydration method used in the production process makes the snacks lighter in weight but also makes the cost higher.
“But Green Day’s products will last for about one year on average. For this reason, in the early period, Green Day is focusing more on international markets.
“Five years ago, when the current health trends began emerging in Thailand, Green Day started marketing its products domestically and the sales continued to grow, especially in the past three years. All Green Day’s products have received a very good response from consumers.”
He said the company had divided its exports into two categories: one for the brands of its customers, whose main markets are the United States and Europe, and the other for Green Day’s own brands.
The products are made from 30 kinds of fruits and vegetables. The products for export differ for each country. The European markets love okra and mango, Pongpan said, while Thais prefers fruits from the north of Thailand like strawberry and apple.
Under the Greenday and Glendee brands, the products are manufactured by vacuum freeze drying or vacuum frying – processes that resulted from continuous research and development.
This drying process, unlike traditional drying, will help preserve the fruits and vegetables in their natural condition without the need for preservatives or artificial sweeteners, acids or food colouring. In addition, the products are also gluten-free and have natural fruit flavours.
“Our products are different from the other products in the market. We use vacuum frying and rice bran oil in cooking our products because, according to research, rice bran oil is healthier than palm oil. Nowadays, some countries even refuse to import palm oil,” Pongpan said.
“Vacuum frying is a process of removing air, enabling the temperature required for cooking to be very low; for frying, it can be at 70-80 degrees Celsius. With this method, ripe bananas can be fried and this results in a product with natural sweetness without the need for additional sugar, unlike conventional frying that requires hot oil and raw fruits only.
“The second processing method is done by freezing the fruits and then gradually remove water out by sublimation. This gives the products their natural sweetness and crispiness without any oil.
“Thus, the products made by this method are considered the healthiest product we have."
Green Day Global participated in the SME Provincial Champions Programme 2016 and has been receiving strong support from the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion.
The company says its participation in the provincial champions programme has greatly helped the business operations."SME Provincial Champions is a very good program. Government agencies, such as Ministry of Industry and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP), are involved and help provide supports.