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Suntory expected to help Tipco F&B double sales

Tipco F&B, a Thai-Japanese joint venture, aims to double its beverage sales to 5 billion baht by 2015.

CEO Viwat Limsakdakul said the company expected Suntory products would contribute 50% of its total sales by 2015, up from 10% by the end of this year.

The Japanese food giant Suntory Group took up the venture with Tipco three years ago to penetrate the beverage market in Thailand and other Asean countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia ahead of the Asean Economic Community scheduled to take effect in 2015.

Under the joint venture, Suntory launched its Dakara functional drink in the Thai market a few years ago, relaunching it recently under the new name Dakara Benefitto.

Suntory plans to introduce at least three new beverage categories in Thailand over the next three years.

Tipco and Suntory products will be produced at its beverage factory in Wang Noi, Ayutthaya. The factory has a capacity of 130 million litres of beverages a year.

Kimiya Onuki, executive general manager of Tipco F&B, said almost 50% of the group’s business came from beverage products. Apart from functional drinks, the company has many successful products in Japan including soft drinks, mineral water, green and Chinese tea, canned coffee, and fruit juice.

“The joint venture with Tipco will allow Suntory to better understand the Thai beverage market and consumers. After success in Thailand, we plan to extend our business into other potential markets in Asean,” said Mr Onuki, who is also an executive of Suntory Holdings in Bangkok.

Chanchai Kanjanaratmanee, Tipco F&B’s operation director, said Thailand’s overall functional drink market was estimated to be worth about 2.4 billion baht this year with the dominant brands Amino Plus, B-ing and Beauty Drink.

The functional drink market has expanded rapidly in the past few years, but declined for the first time – by 4% – in the first five months of this year due to a big drop in the beauty drink segment.

Source: The Nation

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