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Competition perks up for tea low season

A price war is brewing in the 7.8-billion-baht ready-to-drink tea market during this low sales season, with marketing activities planned by the top four brands.

TC Pharmaceutical Industries Co, maker of the Puriku brand, has hired the popular singer and actor Arak ‘Pae’ Amornsupasiri as the new presenter for its chrysanthemum tea.

This is the first time that competition has ratcheted up in the rainy season, which is considered a low sales period for ready-to-drink tea.

The flurry of activity in the industry is due to the major brands’ poor performance in this year’s peak hot season due to cooler-than-normal temperatures and widespread flooding.

In the first eight months of this year, demand for ready-to-drink tea grew by only 14% year-on-year against 33% last year on the exceptionally hot weather.

Suwandee Chaiwarut, TC Pharmaceutical’s marketing manager, expects the overall ready-to-drink tea market will grow by 17% to 8.3 billion baht this year, better than many beverage categories.

The company has raised its marketing budget by 10% this year.

Mr Arak will appear on TV commercials and join a roadshow to universities nationwide in a bid to attract the younger generation.

“We introduced our chrysanthemum tea seven years ago, and it now contributes 30-40% of our sales. It alone is responsible for keeping Puriku in the market,” said Ms Suwandee.

The popularity of Puriku chrysanthemum ready-to-drink tea has prompted many new brands to jump on the bandwagon including Ichitan and Oishi.

Marketing activities will boost Puriku’s market share to 20% this year from 18% last year, Ms Suwandee added.

Aniruth Mahathorn, the vice-president for beverages at Oishi Group Plc, said his company will spend 150 million baht on marketing in the fourth quarter.

“This is the first time for us to fund new product launches during the off-peak sales season,” he said.

Oishi will hold its latest campaign from tomorrow to Dec 20 with the goal of boosting sales by 1.5 billion baht.

The full-year growth target is 20% to 6.3 billion baht.

Source: Bangkok Post

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