Thai Drinks Co, the non-alcoholic drinks subsidiary of Thai Beverage Group (ThaiBev), is setting aside Bt 500 million (US$16 million) on marketing and promotion activities to boost sales of Est cola this year.
About half of the budget will be used to promote the company's products during this summer season, said Jesdakorn Ghosh, the company's Senior Vice-President. “Thailand's carbonated drink market is expected to fare better than last year, and we aim to grow our sales to outgrow the overall market growth,” she said.
Thailand's carbonated soft drink market shrank by 4.1% last year to Bt 50 billion (US$1.6 billion) because of cooler weather, poor consumer spending power and several alternative drink choices available in the market, said Jesdakorn. Despite this, Est is the only soft drink brand that recorded growth, with its market share increasing to 10.5% last year from 9.8% in 2016. Research Agency, Nielsen reported that sales of Est cola rose 2.8% last year, far above Pepsi’s 0.8% growth while Coca-Cola sales dropped 7%.
Jesdakorn said that last year was a good year for Est cola. “Based on our market survey, we found that Est had the highest score among young consumers in every aspect, from cool brand to refreshing brand,” she added.
Thai Drinks will continue to drive up sales for Est cola this summer with the company’s introduction of Bingsu, based on the popular Korean-style shaved ice dessert.
Thai Drinks is also set to export Est soft drink products to neighbouring countries this year, starting with Cambodia, where Oishi green tea, sold under Thai Beverage Group, has shown success. Thai Drinks has confirmed that now is the right time to export Est to neighbouring countries due to the strong network of its parent company ThaiBev, Thailand's largest food and drink company, and the group's strong brands.
Earlier on, Thai Drinks has also revealed plan to build a bottling factory in Myanmar to double sales to Bt 50 billion (US$1.6 billion) by 2020. The plan is part of ThaiBev's 2020 Vision, which aims to achieve sales of Bt 330 billion (US$10.58 billion) by 2020.
ThaiBev is close to fulfilling its 2020 vision of becoming a sustainable F&B leader after completing 4 major acquisitions in the last quarter 2017.