Nestle (Thai), a leading consumer goods manufacturer and marketer, looks set to spend 10 billion baht this year -- its highest investment budget in five years -- to expand its business.
Of the total spending, 6.5 billion baht would be utilised to increase the production capacity of its Purina pet care factory in Rayong by 50%, with the aim of catering to the growing demand for pet care in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and other Asean countries, according to Victor Seah, chairman and chief executive of Nestlé Indochina.
Mr Seah said Thailand was chosen as an export base because of its suitable location and raw materials.
The remaining 3.5 billion baht would be used to expand the company's other businesses, its marketing budget, along with sustainability activities.
"We are very optimistic for the outlook of fast-moving consumer goods thanks to the rebound of the tourism business and consumer spending, as well as the upcoming national election," Mr Seah said, adding that the company expects its sales to grow by 5% over last year.
Mr Seah said Nestlé would focus on two strategic areas: "Good for You" and "Good for the Planet". "Good for You" reinforces the company's strong commitment to nutrition, health and wellness, while "Good for the Planet" ensures Nestlé's products and operations are sustainable.
"Nestlé has been deeply committed to Thailand for 130 years and we are proud to be commemorating this milestone," Mr Seah said.
Nestlé has contributed positively to the country in all aspects, helping to protect, renew and restore the environment based on its Net Zero 2050 roadmap.
He said Thai people are now moving into a post-Covid-19 world with more out-of-home and impulse consumption.
Recent research has shown that Thais are shifting their focus to balanced diets and eco lifestyles, with a view to improving their health and enriching their lives in order to enjoy social and psychological benefits through holistic healthcare while enjoying small pleasures.
Thais still maintain healthy eating patterns without compromising taste.
Consumers aged over 45 have a higher degree of sustainability awareness, while Thais under 35 prefer supporting sustainable brands and expect greater transparency and integrity from them.
Consumers care about a product's origin and how it was made. Today, 62% of Thais have adopted sustainable consumption practices when purchasing products.
Mr Seah said Nestlé is committed to Thailand and will continue to revamp its current product offerings to provide consumers with healthier choices.
These include product options with lower levels of sugar or sodium, along with a plant-based category of products.
Nestlé is also driving its Good for the Planet strategy as part of the country's efforts to achieve Net Zero by 2050, which is the firm's biggest ambition and the core focus that shapes its direction and actions.
The company has made tremendous progress in all areas. For example, 95% of Nestlé's packaging is already designed for recycling, while it uses renewable energy for production. The firm also uses 100% sustainably sourced coffee.