Oishi Group is lifting competition in the 7.7-billion-baht green tea market to another level with carbonated green tea to deal with ever-changing consumer preferences and tastes.
The company will launch Chakulza carbonated green tea today, three weeks after Tan Passakornnatee returned to the market he exited two years ago.
Mr Tan made his name _ and a fortune for Oishi, which he founded a decade ago _ by making Japanese green tea a household beverage in Thailand. He subsequently sold his entire stake to the TCC group owned by whisky tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi in early 2006 and is now pursuing his own businesses.
Mr Tan last month launched his own Japanese green tea beverage called Ichitan through his family-owned Mai Tan Co to compete head-on with Oishi. He aims to gain about one billion baht in sales from the product this year and triple the figure by 2013.
Chakulza carbonated green tea, the first of its kind in the market, has been available in some modern-trade chains since the end of last month, aiming to attract younger consumers seeking an alternative to soft drinks.
The launch of Chakulza will allow Oishi to provide its beverages covering all target groups: Oishi UHT green tea for customers aged 8-12 years old, Fruito, its first sister brand for pre-teens, and Chakulza for teenagers.
“Offering something new will draw customers to try our products. We want Thai people develop a green tea drinking culture like the Japanese,” said Matthew Kichodhan, the CEO of Oishi.
Strategies for expanding green tea consumption in Thailand including launching new products that cross over into other categories.
The green tea market is estimated to be worth 7.7 billion baht, compared to 10 billion for fruit juice, 32 billion for soft drinks and 162 billion for all non-alcoholic drinks.
Under the strategy, the company launched Fruito, a green tea mixed with juice, aiming for sales of 500 million baht in the first year and 1.5 billion baht within 3-5 years.
Sales of Chakulza are expected to be at least three times higher than those of Fruito because the carbonated drink market overall is larger.
Sales of Oishi last year totalled 9.18 billion baht with net profit of one billion. In the first quarter of this year the company reported a consolidated net profit of 336.6 million baht (1.80 baht a share), an increase of 75.6% from 191.7 million (1.02 baht a share) in the same period last year.
The company expects its sales this year to rise 25% to 11.48 billion baht.
Shares of Oishi closed on Friday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 100 baht, unchanged, in thin trade worth 30,000 baht.
Source: Bangkok Post