New entrants flood mineral water market

New entrants flood mineral water market

Pepsi Thai, ThaiBev put skin in the game

A variety of mineral water brands are available at a Bangkok supermarket. PITSINEE JITPLEECHEEP
A variety of mineral water brands are available at a Bangkok supermarket. PITSINEE JITPLEECHEEP

Competition in Thailand's mineral water market is intensifying. As existing rivals actively run promotional activities, two cash-rich companies are jumping on the bandwagon: Pepsi-Cola Thai Co, the trademark owner of Pepsi, and Thai Beverage Group, owned by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

Both ThaiBev's Chang brand and Aquafina Minerale from Pepsi-Cola Thai have simultaneously entered the mineral water market this year to tap huge opportunities as consumers become more health-conscious. Most of the mineral water products are targeting millennials.

"Competition among mineral water brands may peak this year as new players enter the market and existing players like Singha Corporation's Purra and Saha Pathanapibul Plc's Mont Fleur brands also plan aggressive marketing activities to boost their sales this year," a market analyst said.

Pepsi-Cola Thai already launched the Aquafina Minerale brand because of rising demand. A new generation customers are more concerned with their health and prefer to drink mineral water, said the analyst.

The brand is produced in a factory in Pathum Thani province.

Edmond Neo Kim Soon, chief executive of Chang International Co, the marketer of Chang mineral water, said the company has positioned the brand as a premium product.

"Urban consumers have higher spending power. Asia will be home to 3 billion middle-class people by 2030. Last year premium products grew enormously at 24% and the rising trend will continue," he said.

The company spent a huge sum of money to produce Chang mineral water at its factory in Bang Ban district in Ayutthaya, said Mr Soon.

The launch of Chang mineral water is part of ThaiBev Group's plan to boost the sales contribution of non-alcohol business to 50% of total sales in 2020.

"We introduced Chang mineral water in response to demand from premium consumers. The new product line will strengthen the product portfolio under the Chang brand, offering beverage choices for all occasions," he said.

Thailand's mineral water market was worth 3.8 billion baht last year and grew by 15% in terms of volume and 19% in terms of value.

Tipco Plc's Aura brand is the market leader with a 50% market share, followed by Nestle Thai's Minere brand at 30% and Mont Fleur brand with 20%.

Mr Soon expects Chang mineral water to be in the top three in the market in two years.

Boonchai Chokwatana, chairman of Saha Pathanapibul Plc, the distributor and marketer of Mont Fleur mineral water, said the company will put more effort into expanding its mineral water business this year after better-than-expected sales last year.

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