NESCAFE believes there are still plenty of opportunities for growth in Thailand’s Bt16 billion coffee-mix market, which accounts for 76 per cent of the in-home instant coffee market, even as competition from local and international coffee-house chains increases, a senior executive says.
Naritta Vipulyasekha, business manager for Nescafe Coffee Mixes, Nestle (Thai) Ltd, said the company is “taking the lead to elevate the coffee-mix market to the next level” with the launch of a new version of Nescafe Blend & Brew.
“It’s the first-ever finely ground roasted coffee mix innovation made from Arabica and Robusta, two types of coffee beans. New Nescafe Blend & Brew uses a proprietary encapsulation technology that captures and protects the full-bodied flavour and aroma of genuine roasted coffee,” Naritta said.
She said the product has been reformulated to meet the changing preferences of Thai consumers.
“The new Nescafe Blend & Brew delivers a perfect cup that combines the complementary flavours of smooth Arabica and intense Robusta coffee beans offering a better and irresistible aroma and improved taste,” Naritta said.
“We think intense competition is a great opportunity for us. It shows that the coffee market has high potential and consumers remain very interested in coffee.
“Nescafe sees a lot of potential for us to respond to consumer needs as we have many product formats and channels to reach consumers. We are constantly bringing new innovations to the Thai market, such as a new version of Nescafe Blend & Brew, and Nescafe Hub.”
Naritta said that the key challenge for Nescafe in operating a coffee business in Thailand is the changing trends in coffee consumption among coffee drinkers. They are becoming more sophisticated from being exposed to a greater number of out-of-home coffee chains, both local and international.
“There are many more choices of coffee in the Thai market,” she said. “Our aim as market leader is to keep up to date on local market trends and respond to changing consumer needs. We strive to move early on opportunities so we can offer innovative products and services that best meet consumer expectations, and offer products that fit every consumer lifestyle and every occasion for drinking coffee.
“We will continue to strengthen our brand to build on our leading market share of 52.9 per cent in the coffee-mix segment. This includes continuous product launches and ongoing promotions to keep the Nescafe brand at the top of consumers’ minds, while developing the best and most innovative products and services in the Thai market to meet consumers’ changing demands.”
Naritta said the company’s ambition is to continually strengthen its leadership position and be the coffee brand that consumers love the most.
“The goal for our coffee business is to surpass overall market growth, just as we did last year. For the medium to long term, Nescafe will keep introducing new products and services so we have something to offer consumers for every coffee-drinking occasion,” she said.
Naritta said that the coffee market segment grew by just over 4 per cent in 2018. The company expected that growth will be around the same this year.
“We aim to have higher growth than the overall market again this year,” she said.
Nescafe has allocated Bt1.2 billion for an integrated marketing communications campaign featuring new Nescafe Blend & Brew co-brand ambassadors Thanawat (Pope) Wattanaputi and Jirayu (James Ji) Tangsrisuk. Promotional activities include a “Battle to be the Best” performance featuring the two stars and handing out 10 million sample cups of new Nescafe Blend & Brew to consumers nationwide.
The product is now in variants including Rich Aroma, Espresso Roast, Less Sugar, and No Table Sugar.