Singha bullish on seaweed snacks
Boosted by a gradual recovery of consumer purchasing power, Singha Corporation, which sells Masita seaweed snacks, has set an aggressive plan to expand in the segment this year.
Titiporn Thammapimookkul, the company's marketing director, said that given higher sales of several food and beverage products under Singha Group in the first two months of this year, the company is upbeat that consumer purchasing power has rebounded.
Seaweed snacks are popular with the Chinese, so the company wants to target the group with marketing activities in Thailand and China, Mr Titiporn said.
He said a Chinese distributor was appointed to distribute Masita seaweed snacks in Guangzhou last year.
The company also hired Chanon Santinatornkul, a Thai actor, to be the brand ambassador for Masita seaweed in various online media in China to build brand awareness and market share.
Mr Chanon, aka Non, is best known for starring in the 2017 film Bad Genius, known in Thai as Chalard Games Goeng. The movie was popular in China.
New product variations, including a durian flavour, and new packaging will be developed to fit Chinese consumer demand, Mr Titiporn said.
Some 30% of the 3.03-billion-baht seaweed snack market in Thailand is made up of Chinese customers.
Chinese buyers are expected to contribute 20% of Masita sales in Thailand this year, up from 4-5% last year.
The company also plans to gain an additional 100 million baht in sales of Masita seaweed snacks in mainland China this year.
Mr Titiporn said the seaweed snack market experienced an average of 5% growth over the past five years, including last year.
"We believe that the seaweed snack market can keep growing this year, partly because of the continuing trend of health-conscious consumers and a gradual recovery of consumer purchasing power," he said.
Mr Titiporn said the company aims to increase domestic sales this year by 20% to 600 million baht.
The company hired Park Ji-hoon, a former member of K-pop idol group Wanna One, to become a Masita brand ambassador, aiming to increase brand awareness among those aged 12-18.