Carabao aims to become top drink in Thailand

Carabao aims to become top drink in Thailand

Marketing to target younger consumers

Carabao Group, the maker of energy drinks under the Carabao Dang and Carabao trademarks, has completed its new 8.7-billion-baht production centre as it looks to tap into the growing energy drinks market at home and abroad.

Mr Kamoldist says Carabao is working to meet demand with its new production facility in Chachoengsao.

The investment is part of the company's ambition to rank as the top energy drink company in Thailand in the next three years, in which time it could grab at least a 30% share of the local energy drinks market.

The market for energy drinks in Thailand is huge and still growing, estimated to be worth 35 billion baht this year.

Kamoldist Smuthkochorn, deputy managing director and chief production officer, said the group has responded to robust growth in the energy drinks market by relocating overall production operations to the new central production facility on a 180-rai tract in Chachoengsao's Bang Pakong district.

The new centre has a glass bottle plant, an energy drinks bottling plant and an aluminium can plant.

For aluminium can production, Carabao has formed a joint venture with Japan-based Showa Denko Group to build a can production plant at a cost of 2.2 billion baht. The plant has a full production capacity of 1 billion cans a year.

Mr Kamoldist said Carabao began investing in the new production centre in 2014 and has spent 8.7 billion baht for the completion of the three factories.

After the relocation, bottle production capacity will increase to 1.6 billion units a year, up from 1 billion, while can production will rise to 1.5 billion units from 800 million a year.

"The new base will not only help cut production costs, but also help the group carry out environmentally friendly manufacturing," Mr Kamoldist said.

He said Carabao plans to build a fourth factory adjacent to the new production centre. Further details will be announced in the future.

In order to gain a greater share of the domestic market, the group is strengthening marketing activities to become No.1 in the energy drinks market within the next three years.

"We are focusing more on younger demographics, as they are the driving force behind national and economic development," Mr Kamoldist said. "Trends in world markets show that consumers of energy drinks are getting younger, so we are seeking ways to boost demand among younger people."

According to Carabao research, more than 8 million people in Thailand consume energy drinks, with 19% of them living in Bangkok, 49% in rural provinces and 32% in other urban areas.

Statistics show that people aged under 40 years consumed 102% more energy drinks in the first half compared with a year before.

Carabao expects to be able to increase market share via younger consumers, estimating that the group's domestic market share could increase from 25% to 33% by 2020.

Sathien Setthasit, founder and chief executive of Carabao Group, earlier revealed that the company's revenue could reach 15 billion baht this year, up from 13 billion in 2017.

In overseas markets, the group expects to begin selling Carabao in France this year. The process is ongoing to open future markets such as Germany, Peru, Uruguay and some countries in southern Africa.

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