A source in the beverage industry told Krungthep Turakij that the product would be placed on shelves on the night of October 31, while a commercial is ready to be on air on the next day.
He foresees greater competition in the carbonated drink segment after Nov 1. While Pepsi-Co is expected to import products - mostly in cans - from nearby factories as it has not yet appointed a new bottler, Serm Suk will have to work fast to secure a client base. In the void, Coca-Cola and Big Cola stand to benefit the most.
Thailand's carbonated drink segment is now valued at Bt36 billion per annum. Pepsi-Co now controls a 29 per cent market share, followed by Coca-Cola (24 per cent) and Big Cola (14 per cent).
"Serm Suk has an advantage in terms of distribution network which covers over 200,000 spots nationwide and 1,200 trucks. Still, it has to work hard in making its product attractive to consumers," he said.
Pepsi-Co's contract with Serm Suk which has run for over 50 years was terminated after Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's takeover of Serm Suk. The bottling company plans to reveal a new business plan on November 2, which could focus on four main businesses - Crystal drinking water, non-carbonated drinks, food & drink distribution service, and the production of a new carbondated beverage brand. Serm Suk has recently undergone a corporate restructure, whereby Thitiwut Bulsook - the third generation of the Bulsook family which founded Serm Suk - will play a bigger role.
On June 1, Serm Suk also established Great Brand Ltd in Hong Kong with registered capital of 1 million Hong Kong dollar. The subsidiary will take charge of the international marketing of Serm Suk brand.