Lion to expand into pet market
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Lion to expand into pet market

Mr Boonyarit says the move into pet food should make a significant contribution to the firm's sales.
Mr Boonyarit says the move into pet food should make a significant contribution to the firm's sales.

Lion Corporation Thailand, a manufacturer of consumer goods including Pao detergent, Kodomo baby powder and Shokubutsu oral care, is expanding into the country's 40-billion-baht pet market.

President Boonyarit Mahamontri said the company is scheduled to introduce products for dogs at the 27th Saha Group Fair, which is scheduled from June 29 to July 2 at Bitec Bang Na.

While the company has not finalised the name for its new pet food brand, it will initially import dog food from Japan for a six-month period.

Lion Corporation wants to either hire original equipment manufacturers in Thailand to produce its pet food or invest in its own production facility.

"Lion has been in the Japanese pet food business for decades, and we believe it is the right time to enter the Thai pet market, which is substantial and continues to grow each year. People are willing to spend on pet products in Thailand, even with relatively high prices," said Mr Boonyarit.

"Moreover, unlike household products, pet food is not subject to price controls by the Commerce Ministry."

Lion Thailand expects pet food to make a significant contribution to its sales. The company aims to tally 100 million baht in pet business sales within three years.

Thailand's pet market posts consistent growth, with its value reaching 32.2 billion baht in 2018, then rising to 35.4 billion in 2019 and 39 billion in 2020.

The mass market segment accounts for 60%, while the standard and premium segments represent 30% and 10%, respectively.

As the company continues to monitor the economy, it does not expect to make any major investments this year.

However, Lion Corporation remains confident in its sales growth projection of 5% to reach 18.9 billion baht this year.

In separate news, Vathit Chokwatana, president of Saha Pathanapibul Plc, the marketer of Mama instant noodles, said consumer confidence remains tepid following the pandemic, though consumer spending on instant noodles has improved since the second half of 2022.

"Our Mama instant noodle sales grew by 7% in the first five months of this year," he said.

"Consumer behaviour has changed, as customers are opting for more mainstream instant noodles rather than the higher-priced options that were popular in the past."

The stagnant demand for higher-priced instant noodles reflects consumer caution on spending, said Mr Vathit.

However, the company remains confident that Mama sales will increase by 10% this year, driven by the launch of new products this month, he said.

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