Adapting key to survival

Adapting key to survival

ThaiNamthip attributes growth amid Covid-19 crisis to shifting its focus to at-home consumption

"That's why we have shifted from 'dining out' to also focus on 'at home' consumption across all of our communications and marketing activities," said Thainamthip president Ignace Corthouts.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on many businesses, but ThaiNamthip Ltd has managed to weather the crisis by shifting its focus to at-home consumption, its online businesses and promoting strong partnerships.

In a special interview with the Bangkok Post, Ignace Corthouts, the president of ThaiNamthip, said as Thailand's leading non-alcoholic beverages company that has been in business for over 60 years, ThaiNamthip is committed to driving the growth of Thailand's economy, as well as its partners, customers and employees.

According to him, the global pandemic has brought about extensive changes which demand immediate attention and adaptation, so businesses need to evolve in order to be able to grow in these difficult times.

"That's why we have shifted from 'dining out' to also focus on 'at-home' consumption across all of our communications and marketing activities, with our key strategy focusing mainly on product repositioning, partner support and employee empowerment," he said.

By pursuing this strategy of promoting at-home consumption and co-promotion with partners through online shopping channels to accommodate changes in consumer behaviour, the company has seen strong growth across multiple channels.

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which worsened in March, inspired ThaiNamthip to focus more on larger package sizes, as most consumers were more likely to opt for bigger sizes -- 1.5-litre bottles, for instance -- for family consumption during the nationwide lockdown.

ThaiNampthip had to not only complement its portfolio, but step up its merchandising to drive at-home and on-premises consumption to compensate for the loss of income from tourist purchases, said Mr Corthouts.

Product repositioning to focus on domestic consumption was also carried out by other businesses -- including supermarkets, convenience stores, as well as restaurants and food vendors -- all of which have started to promote larger pack sizes and ready-to-go packagings such as PET bottles and aluminium wrappings since the start of the pandemic.

"Even though the Covid-19 situation has improved, we will continue to adhere to our key strategy of 'Product, Partner and People' throughout the rest of the year, to ensure our partners, employees and the overall industry remain stable and grow together," he noted.

"As the leading non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverage company that is well-recognised by society, we strive hard in every way we can to contribute to society."

To cater to the growing health-conscious crowd in Thailand, Mr Corthouts said ThaiNamthip rolled out in July Coca-Cola "No Sugar Orange", a healthier choice of soft drink which has the fizzy flavourful taste of the original Coca-Cola, complemented with the fresh scent of oranges.

"The launch was not only to continue building on the accomplishment of our 'No Sugar' variant, but also to bring the company's products more in line with the growing demand for more health-conscious products in Thai society," he said.

In terms of overall business, Mr Corthouts said, it is evident that ThaiNamthip has managed to retain its position as one of the key leaders in the non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverage market in Thailand with strong growth and high market share despite the pandemic.

The wide range of products in ThaiNamthip's Coca-Cola portfolio is a major contributor to the company's robust performance in the market, especially in the sparkling soft drink segment, where it has a 55.2% market share, up 0.6% from last year. Specifically, for the cola market segment, ThaiNamthip's market share has risen 0.6% to 48.2%. The company has also seen gains in the "No Sugar" segment, with its market share growing estimated to be around 58.5%, up 2.5% points from last year.

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