Singapore-based food and beverage firm, Super Group is eyeing growth in the premium instant coffee segment in Thailand despite the saturation of the overall instant coffee market.
SCML (Thailand) Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Super Group and producer of Super Coffee and Essenso MicroGround Coffee brands, plans to strengthen its foundation in Thailand by moving the manufacturing facility of Essenso MicroGround Coffee into the country, where it already has a plant for Super Coffee products in Chachoengsao province. Essenso MicroGround Coffee products are currently imported from Malaysia.
Nicholas Chan, Regional Brand Manager of SCML (Thailand) said the company has seen the potential of attracting and retaining consumers in Thailandís instant coffee market through premium offerings and diversification of product range. Thai consumers are maturing into a discerning group of customers that need to be offered choice and flexibility from what is the typical range that has been on offer for the past decade. This presents us with an opportunity to set the tone for the industry for the next 5-10 years, ensuring that the industry keeps up to date with changing consumer demands, he said.
ďA key factor that gives us confidence in the long-term sustainability and growth of this industry is the fact that ease and convenience will become more important as society develops. So, it is paramount that we continue to be in that space offering quality products that consistently meet the needs of tomorrows consumers,Ē added Chan.
Super also seeks to move the instant coffee category closer to the quality of freshly brewed coffee.
Thailandís overall coffee market is projected to grow 4% this year to reach Bt 36 billion (US$1.07 billion), of which 56% comprises of instant coffee and the rest is RTD coffee. This market is however slowing down and moving to saturation with growth declining from 10% over a decade ago to only 4% currently.
In 2017, Super Coffee and Essenso MicroGround Coffee set their sales targets at Bt 4.2 billion (US$125 million) and Bt 200 million (US$5.95 million) respectively. For Essenso, the sales target is up from Bt 150 million (US$4.5 million) last year as the brand sees strong growth potential in the premium instant coffee market in which Essenso is currently number 2 in the segment. The premium instant coffee segment is valued at Bt 2 billion (US$59.6 million) with 3 major players.
This year, SCML (Thailand) has set aside 60% of its Bt 300 million (US$8.93 million) marketing budget for Essenso MicroGround Coffee alone and the remainder (40%) for Super brand.
The company is also working towards increasing its presence in all the different regions in Thailand, especially from central upwards, through forging of sincere relationships with all stakeholders from the ground up.
The company has recently unveiled 2 new Essenso products, Essenso MicroGround Black Coffee Colombian Blend and Mandheling Blend, packaged in a box of 20 sticks with a suggested retail price of Bt 95 (US$2.83).