The company is also gearing up to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand by the fourth quarter.
Ichitan achieved Bt3.5 billion in sales last year, higher than its target of Bt3 billion. The company expects to grow its sales by another 20 per cent this year. It also expects to net Bt700 million in profit in 2013.
Tan Passakornnatee, chief executive officer of Ichitan Group Co, said he believed that Yen Yen, a mixture of green tea and other ingredients, would become a useful part of the company’s product portfolio.
A Bt100-million budget has been set aside for marketing of the new Yen Yen ready-to-drink product. Yen Yen is expected to contribute Bt700 million to the group’s sales this year and up to Bt1 billion in 2014. Ichitan has set aside a total marketing budget for all drink products of about Bt500 million.
Tan said the Thai market for ready-to-drink green tea grew by about 39 per cent last year, followed by sport drinks, which grew by 21 per cent. Bottled drinking water grew by 19 per cent, while the market for carbonated soft drinks expanded by about 16 per cent. Oishi currently leads the market for ready-to-drink green tea with a 44-per-cent share, followed by Ichitan with 27 per cent and Puriku at 14 per cent.
Tan said Ichitan Group’s production would reach full capacity this year. Its brands include Ichitan Green Tea, Ichitan Dragon Black Tea, Double Drink and Yen Yen.