Gourmet One sets B1bn expansion plan

Gourmet One sets B1bn expansion plan

Looking ahead, new technologies play a key role in the firm's business operations

One method Gourmet One Food Service (Thailand) uses to gauge the health of the country's tourism industry is to examine its sales figures for sausages.

Mrs Padchcharrin says the company's growth is driven by targeting high-income customers.

The premium food supplier and sausage maker estimates higher sausage sales indicates a rise in the number of foreign tourist arrivals.

The company is benefiting from the tourism recovery, pushing ahead with its business expansion plan that caters to customers in the middle class and high-income segments.

Gourmet One has remained immune thus far from the impact of weak consumer purchasing power, said Padchcharrin Heimeaungkloon, managing director and founder of the company.

FUELLING GROWTH

Mrs Padchcharrin says the company's growth is driven by targeting high-income customers.

Gourmet One plans to spend 1 billion baht to support business development, with a warehouse construction project central to the new investment plan, she said.

Part of the budget is for projects meant to strengthen the company's retail business.

Gourmet One wants to build a new warehouse and expand its office on a 10-rai plot of land in Nonthaburi's Bang Yai district.

"We need to expand the facilities to serve our growing business," said Mrs Padchcharrin.

New technologies will play a key role in running the business's operations, with an automated warehouse system managing stock and logistics, while data management technology supports sales teams in ensuring customers have a positive experience, she said.

Gourmet One also plans to expand warehouse areas in key tourist areas, including Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, to support the distribution of goods.

"The 1-billion-baht budget excludes our warehouse expansion project in Phuket, which requires an additional 80 million baht of investment," said Mrs Padchcharrin.

RETAIL EFFORTS

In the retail business, the company is focusing on the business-to-consumer (B2C) segment because of its high growth potential, driven by strong demand and purchasing power, she said.

Most of Gourmet One's current business operations are in the business-to-business segment.

"To strengthen our B2C business, we plan to increase our retail channels by opening more butcher and sausage shops in supermarkets in Bangkok and other large cities to serve customers in the middle class and high-end markets," said Mrs Padchcharrin.

The company plans to expand its fine food service operations in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam by developing its employees as well as through mergers and acquisitions, she said.

As investment costs increase, Gourmet One plans to raise funds through an initial public offering within four years, said Mrs Padchcharrin.

FOCUSING ON QUALITY

She said the decision to embark on sales of premium food products 17 years ago helped the company attract customers with strong purchasing power and a willingness to pay for quality products.

Gourmet One depends on its customers being able to pay for excellent products and services, supporting revenue growth for the company, said Mrs Padchcharrin.

Up to 80% of its customers are in the high-end segment, which includes five-star hotels and fine dining restaurants. The other 20% are in the aviation industry.

She set a revenue growth target of 30% this year, but did not elaborate on sales figures.

To increase sales, the company is committed to offering excellent services, which Mrs Padchcharrin said adds value to its products.

Gourmet One also stays up-to-date with the latest food trends in order to meet all customer requirements, she said.

The company's commitment to quality is referenced in its mission statement, which traces back to 2007 when Gourmet One was founded.

LUXURY TASTES

Growing demand for premium ingredients from five-star hotels and airlines, driven by tourism growth in 2007, caught Mrs Padchcharrin's attention.

Given her experience in food and beverage supply, she decided to establish a company focused on customers in the high-end segment.

Gourmet One slowly grew and has become the sole distributor of many well-known global brands, including De Cecco, Valrhona, Rougie, Westholm and Tartufi Morra Tartufalba.

When the pandemic hit Thailand, the company tried to stay afloat by running an online food delivery and supply business, as well as dabbling in digital marketing.

Gourmet One then branched out by opening its first restaurant in 2021 in the Bang Na area, offering a casual fine dining experience of Spanish and Mediterranean dishes to patrons willing to pay for premium food.

More restaurants and patisseries were added later to its food empire.

Mrs Padchcharrin said given the growing trend in Thai healthcare, the company plans to use more seasonal organic raw materials in its restaurant business.

BRAND IDENTITY

In addition to serving as a crude barometer of the tourism sector, sausage sales also symbolise Gourmet One's identity as a premium food seller.

The company began making sausages in 2018 when it asked a former chef from Mandarin Oriental Bangkok to create a new sausage recipe and oversee the manufacturing process under the Sooooo Goood brand.

With the tourism sector expected to maintain growth this year, she said demand for the company's sausages should also increase, driven by orders from hotels.

According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, Thailand is forecast to attract 35 million foreign arrivals this year after 3 million arrived in January.

"We are confident we will write a successful story for our brand thanks to the help of our chef and our marketing strategy," said Mrs Padchcharrin.

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