KOREAN WAVE

Bangkok Post - - BUSINESS - PITSINEE JITPLEECHEEP

Singha Corporation en­lists South Korean boy band NTC as pre­sen­ters to boost sales of Ma­sita sea­weed snacks.

Singha Corporation, which sells Ma­sita sea­weed snacks, is com­pet­ing head-on with arch ri­val Tao Kae Noi by hir­ing South Korean boy band NCT to pro­mote the prod­uct and triple sales over the next five years.

The move is part of group chief ex­ec­u­tive Santi Bhi­romb­hakdi’s pol­icy to ex­pand the com­pany’s food and drinks busi­ness for long-term sus­tain­abil­ity.

Singha yes­ter­day an­nounced it hired NCT to pro­mote its snacks among teenagers and work­ing peo­ple aged 12-25.

Singha also plans to ex­pand its snack busi­ness overseas by fo­cus­ing on China as a priority mar­ket, said Ti­ti­porn Thammapi­mookkul, mar­ket­ing direc­tor for food and drinks.

Late last week, Taokaenoi Food & Mar­ket­ing, the maker of Tao Kae Noi sea­weed snacks, in­tro­duced Got7, an­other South Korean boy band, as the brand pre­sen­ter to pro­mote its prod­ucts in Thai­land.

Taokaenoi also plans to ag­gres­sively boost its snack busi­ness in China this year.

The ef­forts by the two sea­weed snack brands have sent waves through Thai­land’s sea­weed snack mar­ket, which has oth­er­wise seen slight growth in re­cent years.

Mr Ti­ti­porn said Singha will use NCT to pro­mote its prod­ucts in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties, such as hav­ing meet and greet events with Thai fans and hav­ing them par­tic­i­pate in other mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

“By us­ing Korean su­per­stars to pro­mote our prod­ucts, the brand aware­ness for Ma­sita sea­weed snacks will be strong, help­ing us bet­ter reach our tar­get cus­tomers over the next five years,” he said.

With NCT as the brand pre­sen­ter, the com­pany projects the mar­ket share of Ma­sita will rise to 20% this year.

Thai­land’s sea­weed snack mar­ket was worth 2.6 bil­lion baht last year. The Tao Kae Noi brand is the mar­ket leader in the sea­weed snack seg­ment, con­trol­ling a 60% mar­ket share, fol­lowed by Ma­sita at 17% and Seleco (4-5%).

Last year, sales of Ma­sita sea­weed snack reached 500 mil­lion baht. That fig­ure is ex­pected to reach 1.6 bil­lion baht within the next five years.

Singha has plans to se­ri­ously ex­pand its sea­weed snack busi­ness abroad this year, fo­cus­ing mainly on China. The com­pany is in­ter­ested in the Chi­nese mar­ket be­cause it has huge po­ten­tial, as per capita con­sump­tion re­mains low.

At home, the com­pany has de­vel­oped a Ma­sita sea­weed flavour to serve the tastes of Chi­nese cus­tomers in tourist des­ti­na­tions.

Last year, Singha’s food and drinks busi­ness gen­er­ated 15 bil­lion baht in sales and is ex­pected to in­crease by 8-10% this year.

Ti­ti­porn Thammapi­mookkul (third from right), mar­ket­ing direc­tor for food and drinks at Singha Corporation, in­tro­duces NCT as brand pre­sen­ters with Ma­sita sea­weed in hand.

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