Mama producer outlines worldwide aspirations
Thai President Foods Plc (TFMAMA), the 50-year-old manufacturer of Mama instant noodles, yesterday announced a five-year plan to open new instant noodle factories covering every continent, as part of efforts to sustain its business growth over the next five decades.
Pipat Paniangvait, the company's vice-chairman and chief executive, said TFMAMA will adhere to three core strategies: to have good business partnerships; to have good products and conservative or efficient investment; and to grow its business in a sustainable manner over the next 50 years.
"Mama was born as a food producer, operating for five decades with product and marketing innovation as well as working process innovation. We are still in instant noodle products but will move from volume to value base, focusing more on innovation and internationalisation for sustainable growth and responding to young generation consumers,'' said Poj Paniangvait, the company's president.
According to Pojjana Paniangvait, TFMAMA's director, the company aims to boost the revenue portion from the overseas market to 50% of total revenue in 2026, up from its present level of 29%.
The expansion of the company's international business will be divided into two phases, with the first phase aimed at investing in setting up representative offices in Hungary and distributors in India, Malaysia and Vietnam over the next 1-2 years.
It plans to set up factories in the US, the Middle East and Africa, bringing the total of production bases to five on five continents over the next five years. It has three factories at present in Asia (in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Bangladesh) and one in Europe (in Hungary).
Pun Paniangvait, manager of the company's President Office, said that having its factories on every major continent would help tackle the pain point of logistics, ensure its products are fresh, and offset high labour costs and import taxes.
"A rise in overseas revenue will help enable us to survive in the long run although we do not have to raise our prices amid the higher operating costs from wheat, palm oil and diesel," he said. "Moreover, the market demand for instant noodles in the international markets is still huge compared with domestic consumption in Thailand."
Currently, the per capita consumption of instant noodles in Thailand is 53.2 packets per head per year, while the per capita consumption worldwide averages 15 packets per head per year.
The company expects the aggressive overseas expansion plan will help boost its overseas revenue to reach 15 billion baht in 2026, up from 6.21 billion baht last year.
Petch Paniangvait, the company's consultant, said that Thailand's instant noodle market is estimated to have grown by 10% during the pandemic, with volume reaching 3.7 billion packets last year.
"There is still room to grow instant noodles in the domestic market, but we have to adapt ourselves more quickly to cope with rapidly changing consumer behaviour, and we have to be a trendsetter, not a follower,'' Mr Petch said, adding that to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the company will resume launching three limited Mama editions to the market comprising instant chicken khao soi-flavoured noodles, black pepper pork-flavoured wholewheat noodles and roast duck-flavoured dried jade noodles.
Mr Pun said the company will spend 400 million baht to install new machinery at three factories in Rayong, Lamphun and Ratchaburi, postponed since last year due to the pandemic. With this, its production capacity will rise by 5% from last year's capacity of around 2 billion packages per year.