Good for the health, pleasing to the taste buds
A popular Japanese almond milk finds it way to Thailand
Thai Glico Co Ltd, a leading food company owned by Japanese multinational Ezaki Glico Group, has launched Japan's best-selling almond milk, "Almond Koka" for the first time in Thailand. Presented under the new "Health and Wellness" category, the drink is being promoted by celebrity presenter, Thai-Belgian actress and model Mai Davika Hoorne.
Chalermpong Darongsuwan, managing director of Thai Glico, said: "We are known for our confectionery and ice cream businesses and Almond Koka marks our first steps into the health and wellness category. Glico turned 101 this year and Thai Glico itself has been around for 52 years. In recent years, we have grown our innovations in the health and wellness category in Japan in line with our aspiration to deliver healthier food options to consumers and contribute to their overall wellbeing. We hope to bring more of these to Thailand and the Southeast Asian region. Given our deeply rooted Japanese heritage and passion for food quality, we are confident of capturing the palettes and hearts of the Thai people with the delicious taste and goodness of Almond Koka."
The launch of Almond Koka in Thailand comes on the heels of the release of Pocky Wholesome, a premium Pocky product featuring a whole-wheat mixed biscuit stick, and Sunao, Glico's zero sucrose ice cream. Thailand is the first Southeast Asian country to which Glico is bringing its popular Almond Koka. The confectionery and ice-cream products under the Glico brand have been well-loved by consumers of all ages and genders for a long time in Thailand.
"We have observed a health trend where people are turning to plant-based or cereal milk such as almond milk and the market for plant-based milk in Thailand is continuing to grow. Recent studies commissioned by Nielsen and Euromonitor suggest that the current plant-based milk or cereal milk market, excluding soy milk, was worth over Bt960 million in 2022 and is projected to reach Bt3 billion in 2026. The company sees an opportunity to break into the market by introducing its Almond Koka, the best-selling almond milk brand in Japan with a market share of about 90% to the Thai market. The target market includes people of all ages and genders, health enthusiasts, and those who are lactose or cow's milk intolerant," Chalermpong added.
"The launch depends on 2 factors, 'Taste' – whether Thai consumers like this or not and 'Price' – the amount Thai consumers will accept for this type of product. Almond milk is the largest group of plant milks, with almost 70% of the market share. What we need is to be a market leader in Thailand. We have plans to bring the same product to the market in Southeast Asia. Currently, it is being sold in Mainland China and Taiwan and has proved a success in both."
Almond Koka, which is high in Vitamin E and can help in the battle against free radicals, is ideal as a daily drink at any time of day. Its Vitamin E content meets 100% of the daily recommended amount, its high fibre content aids in digestion, and it contains 0% cholesterol. Most importantly, it is plant-based, making it suitable for vegans or those with lactose intolerance. With these benefits, Glico is confident that Almond Koka can become a daily drink of choice for those who want to look and feel good from the inside out and maintain good health in the long term. Thai Glico is introducing 3 flavours of Almond Koka - Original, Unsweetened, and Chocolate - in 180 ml cartons. The 1-litre size will be available in June.
Duangkamol Chulikawit, marketing managing director of Thai Glico, said, "Almond Koka has been available on Thai Glico's online site since December. The company will now be expanding its distribution channels to top retailers nationwide. To promote the benefits of Almond Koka to consumers, the company has also engaged Mai Davika as our new celebrity presenter because she represents the new generation of Thais who are conscious about maintaining their daily health and beauty regimes.
"In Japan, a 30-Day Challenge programme was introduced that invited consumers to drink the product for 30 days and see what happened to their health. The results showed that they felt healthier. We plan on offering the same challenge to our Thai consumers. Moreover, the Japanese company has collaborated with various partners using Almond Koka as an ingredient in food or desserts. We are thinking of doing this in Thailand with shabu or spaghetti."