CPF moves into health drinks
SET-listed Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) is beefing up its beverage business and plans to launch alternative drinks to tap into Thai consumers focused on their health after the outbreak.
Prasit Boondoungprasert, CPF's chief executive, said the pandemic has led to heightened health awareness, with consumers looking for hygienic, easy-to-cook food that offers value for money.
"Without the outbreak, we might have taken 3-5 years to raise Thais' awareness about [the importance of] healthy food," Mr Prasit said.
CPF spends 500 million baht on food R&D each year, with about 500 new food products launched annually in Thailand and worldwide.
The company introduced its first functional drinks under a new brand, Innoweness, last week.
The product is initially available at 7-Eleven convenience stores and is expected to be unveiled later at modern retail chains.
CPF is showcasing newly launched functional drinks at Thailand's food trade showcase, Thaifex-Anuga World of Food Asia 2020, running through Saturday at Impact Challenger Hall 2.
Innoweness is the second beverage brand under CPF, after Meiji dairy products.
"Innoweness presents food for tomorrow concepts, highlighting healthy nutrition and sustainable food products that serve consumption trends after the outbreak," Mr Prasit said.
He said the company expects sales of 500 million baht in the first year from new liquids launched this year, including its corn and pumpkin soup and three new beverages.
According to Mr Prasit, CPF reported sales growth in the first eight months this year of 10%, beating its 8% target.
CPF expects its best performance this year, driven by a pork shortage and scant impact from the pandemic thanks to diversified overseas investments.
The company is upbeat revenue will grow by more than 10% this year from 554 billion baht in 2019, he said in May.
The spread of African swine fever (ASF) resulted in a significant decline in the number of swine in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
ASF is estimated to have killed 200 million pigs in China and 20 million in Vietnam, as well as in nearby countries such as Cambodia and Laos.
The company set a target to grow its business by an average of 8-10% during 2019-23, with revenue reaching 800 billion baht in 2023.
Revenue from international operations is set to make up 75% of the total by 2023, up from 68% this year.
"Our sales are growing better than expected as consumers not only look for taste and quality, but also the origin of products," said Sujarit Mayalarp, managing director at CPF Trading, a subsidiary.
CPF shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 29.25 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 257 million baht.