CPRAM Co, a food manufacturer under Charoen Pokphand Group, the country's biggest agribusiness conglomerate, aims to increase its sales by at least 10% this year to 27.5 billion baht.
CPRAM president Wisade Wisidwinyoo said the company's food and bakery business experienced better-than-expected sales growth in the first four months of the year due to the recovery of the economy and the tourism industry.
People have returned to their normal lives and the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand continues to rise on a monthly basis, he said.
"We've seen sustainable sales growth monthly this year because our products are convenient and reachable for all which has shielded us from the impact faced by other businesses during the pandemic. We believe that our annual sales will continue to grow by an average of 12% for the next four consecutive years,'' Mr Wisade said.
The bakery business, in particular, is expected to outpace the ready-to-eat food sector as CPRAM plans to introduce new products to the market and restructure its sales channels. The company is developing Indian ready-to-eat products aimed at catering to vegetarian consumers over the next 1-2 months. As well as plant-based products, the company is developing healthy foods and functional foods for the market.
"With people demanding effective preventive healthcare, while future diseases are are to become more complex, we have brought in biotechnology to develop innovative food products to cater to different nutritional requirements,'' Mr Wisade said. "The company sees great potential in this food segment, as around 300-400 million people in India follow a vegetarian diet. Indian cuisine is also popular worldwide, particularly in Europe and the US."
The ready-to-eat Indian meals would initially be sold domestically before expanding sales into international markets.
The bakery business also plans to expand its operations in neighbouring countries, said Mr Wisade.
The company is scheduled to open its first bakery factory in Chon Buri in the third quarter of this year, thereby increasing the total production capacity of its bakery to 5.2 million items per day.
The establishment of the new factory in Chon Buri aims to support growing demand for bakery products in the eastern region, which has a high concentration of 7-11 convenience stores thanks to the Eastern Economic Corridor, numerous tourist destinations, and industrial parks.
Currently, CPRAM operates production facilities for its bakery and food businesses at seven locations in six provinces -- Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Chon Buri, Lamphun, Surat Thani and Khon Kaen.
CPRAM recorded sales of 25.5 billion baht in 2022, well above the 19.9 billion recorded in 2019.
Of the total, 95% was generated in the domestic market, with the other 5% coming from exports to a variety of countries including the UK, Canada and Japan, along with Europe.
The company is aiming to see the contribution made by bakery products to total sales to increase to 35% this year, up from 30% last year. The other 70% of sales generated last year came from ready-to-eat food.