By Methavee Tanruengvejcharoun
Singha Corporation, producer of Singha and Leo beer, will focus on expansion of its non-alcohol products with launches of new beverage and snack brands, as well as acquiring other non-alcohol products.
The company is strongly pushing its B-ing functional drink by investing Bt80 million in marketing activities including the appointment of Korean pop star Kim Tae-yeon of the band Girls’ Generation as its presenter and brand ambassador.
Bhurit Bhirombhakdi, director of Singha Corp, said the company was looking to acquire various brands to add to its non-alcohol portfolio. The acquisitions will be made in parallel with the launch of its own new non-alcohol products, in both the snack and drink categories.
Bhurit said 2014 would be “another tough year for doing business as many negative factors have an impact on our non-alcohol business in the first quarter. However, even if we post flat sales [growth] in the non-alcohol business in the first quarter, we are still confident of achieving 15-per-cent growth in sales of non-alcohol products for the full year compared with last year.
“Anyway, we need to evaluate the overall political and economic situations again at the middle of this year,” he said.
Bhurit said sales of Singha soda water dropped by 5-7 per cent in the first quarter. However, sales of Singha drinking water rose by 15 per cent, while those of B-ing functional beverage were up 10 per cent. Mashita seaweed snacks also enjoyed sales growth.
He said the company would monitor and evaluate the marketing plan for non-alcohol business month by month. The marketing budget was set at Bt1.3 billion at the beginning of this year, but some events, including new product launches, have been delayed from the first quarter.
Product gets facelift
Lately, the company has given B-ing a major facelift for the first time since its launch six or seven years ago. The packaging and logo have been made more colourful to communicate more directly with the drink’s target customers.
One new flavour will be launched this year targeting both male and female drinkers. B-ing will be sold for Bt20 for a 350-millilitre bottle, and Bt12 for a 200ml pack.
The total market for functional drinks in Thailand was worth about Bt2.3 billion last year, up 42 per cent over 2012. B-ing has an 18-per-cent share of the market. The functional-drink market is anticipated to grow by 15-20 per cent this year, thanks to the health-conscious trend among Thai consumers.