Wage rise expected to boost sales

The hike in the daily minimum wage to 300 baht nationwide from Jan 1 will boost the purchasing power of blue-collar workers and benefit the beverage industry.

Next year, new players will push new beverages, especially energy and health drinks.

Serm Suk Plc, the distributor of "est" cola, will promote Wrangyer-brand energy drink, which it recently took over.

Kratingdaeng Co, a top-three market player, will offer a premium-grade Krating Daeng drink.

A market source said competition will intensify in the energy-drink segment next year due to these activities as well as the entry of new players.

The 20-billion-baht energy-drink market is dominated by three brands _ Osotspa Co's M100 and M150, Carabao Tawandang Co's Carabao Dang and the Krating Daeng brand.

Serm Suk targets becoming a top-three player after it starts pushing Wrangyer heavily next year.

The source said the high market value has drawn players to non-stop offering special drinks to consumers.

He said that Kratingdaeng Co will go further by launching separate premium energy drinks for women and men.

The company last month debuted its first functional drink _ Mansome, targeted at the modern Thai male.

"Thai men are taking better care of themselves than ever before, as evidenced by the success of the many men's products in the market," said one Kratingdang executive.

Meanwhile, Bangsue Chia Meng Rice Mill Co, the distributor of Hong Thong-brand packed rice, will develop a rice-based energy drink next year, its first foray into the food and beverage sector.

The drink will be produced under its new BSCM Food Co subsidiary.

The source said Chia Meng is developing the energy drink because it sees only a few players in a big market.

"Demand in many beverage sectors has dropped year-to-date, but the popularity of energy drinks continues, and consumption will only rise thanks to the wage increase," said the industry source.

About the author

Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Position: Business Reporter