Ichitan Group, a producer of ready-to-drink green tea and herbal drinks, aims to grow its sales by 15% next year from an estimated 6.5 billion baht in 2022.
Tan Passakornnatee, the company's chief executive, said the higher sales would be derived from overall growth of the ready-to-drink tea market in the third quarter, which would continue in the fourth quarter. The improving Covid-19 situation and tourism revival should help boost consumption of ready-to-drink tea, said Mr Tan.
He said the company would focus more on selling products that generate a better profit, such as Tansunsu Korean soda, which was launched a few months ago and gained better feedback than expected.
Two new flavours of Tansunsu will be launched next summer to increase its sales to 600 million baht in 2023, up from a forecast of 150 million this year, said Mr Tan.
He said export sales are expected to return to profit from the fourth quarter of this year. The company plans to export its beverages to new markets in 2023, including the Middle East, and is considering expansion into Vietnam. The proportion of sales from exports should reach 10% of total sales within 3-5 years, said Mr Tan.
Total revenue of Ichitan in the first nine months this year was 4.74 billion baht, increasing 20.2% from the same period last year. Net profit grew by 8.4% to 449 million baht.
Of the total sales, green tea contributed 69.2%, Yen Yen herbal drink accounted for 14.9%, non-tea products generated 5.4%, and the remainder was from exports and original equipment manufacturer business. Some 4.25 billion baht of revenue was derived from the domestic market.
Tanapan Khongnuntha, executive vice-president for beverage business, said several trends helped increase demand for Ichitan products, such as hemp and cannabidiol (CBD).
"Hemp and CBD are growing markets and we will heavily invest in R&D to develop new products for them," said Mr Tanapan.
According to Nielsen market research, the ready-to-drink tea market grew by 20.5% in the first half of this year -- the highest growth in value among all beverage categories.
He said the company is confident of achieving its sales target of 6.5 billion baht.
The company focused on health trends by launching Ichitan No Sugar in October with a target of 25 million baht in sales this year. It plans to launch a new Shizuoka tea next month, targeting sales of 10 million baht by year-end.
The firm already adjusted most Ichitan products to have less than six grammes of sugar per 100 millilitres to cut its sugary tax levy.