Mama noodles: New African market

Mama noodles: New African market

West Africa & Ghana get first Thai noodle factory. African instant noodle market big with little competition.

Maps below of West Africa and Ghana (Source: Wikipedia #1 & #2).

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Mama noodles to be made in Africa

Thai President Foods plans Ghana factory
16/05/2012
Pitsinee Jitpleecheep

Thai President Foods Plc (TF), the producer of Mama instant noodles, plans to set up a joint-venture factory to expand its business in Ghana to serve the domestic and West African regional market.

Chief executive Pipat Paniengvate said his company saw the market potential in the region after shipping Mama products there via another distributor. TF was also hired by a leading food company to produce instant noodles for Ghana since early this year.

The company is negotiating with its Ghanaian partner, one of the largest spaghetti producers and a distributor of various products in the country of 24 million.

If a deal is signed, TF expects to invest 300 million baht in Ghana to start instant noodle production by next year.

Instant noodles gained popularity in Ghana a few years back when an Indonesian producer aggressively developed the market.

"Thai President would be the first Thai instant noodle manufacturer to set up a factory in Ghana. There is strong potential there, but the country is far away and the import tariff is high, so setting up a factory in Ghana is in line with our international market strategy," said Mr Pipat, adding the noodles would likely to be sold under the Mama brand.

Ghana will be the fourth country outside Thailand to have a Mama factory after Myanmar, Cambodia and Bangladesh - where its joint-venture plant is to open in August.

Mr Pipat said the market for instant noodles in Ghana was quite big with only a few competitors.

Mama exports are valued at 1.63 billion baht or 16% of the company's total forecast sales of 11 billion this year, up 10% from last year.

In addition to Ghana, Mr Pipat said the company planned to expand production capacity in Myanmar with a new factory near the Saha Group's new industrial estate in the country.

Saha Pathana Inter Holding is preparing to submit a master plan of its estate sized between 500 and 1,000 rai to the Myanmar government.

"We'll use Myanmar as a production base to export to Europe over the long term," he said.

For the domestic market, TF plans to spend 1 billion baht to expand business this year. About 400 million will be spent on new machines at its factory in Chon Buri's Si Racha district.

The rest will be invested in a new wheat flour factory in Rayong province.

TF president Suchai Ratanajiacharon said the new wheat factory will be operated by a new company called President Flour mill Co, a joint venture between TF holding 60%, President Bakery with 10% and its partner Kerry Flour Mills Ltd with 30%. 

The new wheat flour mill is expected to start operating in next year's third quarter with annual production capacity of 300 tonnes exclusively for Mama noodles.

However, TF will continue to buy wheat flour from a few companies.

"Making our own wheat flour will help to reduce costs," said Mr Pipat.

He said his company had no plan to raise prices as it expects palm oil prices to return to normal in the near future.

Sales of Mama noodles rose by 11% year-on-year over the first four months, quite rapid growth considering Mama is a staple during times of inflationary pressure.
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TF shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 131 baht, up two baht, in trade worth 2.29 million baht.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Mama noodles to be made in Africa, Thai President Foods plans Ghana factory, 16/05/2012, Pitsinee Jitpleecheep, link)

Food Exports Vocabulary

instant noodles
- "dried or precooked noodles and are often sold with packets of flavoring including seasoning oil. Dried noodles are usually eaten after being cooked or soaked in boiling water, while precooked noodles can be reheated or eaten straight from the packet" (See Wikipedia)

Ghana - a country in Western Africa, a top world producer of gold and cocoa, has "more than twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in Africa" (See Wikipedia)

West Africa -
see map above, the far west of Africa that has 5 million square kilometers and 16 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana,  Guinea,  Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo (See Wikipedia )

West African regional market


producer - a person who makes the practical and financial arrangements needed to make a film, play, television or radio programme ผู้อำนวยการสร้างภาพยนต์, ผู้ผลิต

joint - do some activity or project together ร่วมกัน
venture - a new business ธุริกิจเสี่ยงแต่สามารถทำกำไรได้
joint-venture - a company owned and operated by two other larger companies

plant - factory
joint-venture plant

partner - one of the two or more companies that own a joint-venture company
Ghanaian partner

expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
expand its business - make a bigger company  

domestic - within the country ภายในประเทศ

Thai President Foods Plc (TF), the producer of Mama instant noodles, plans to set up a joint-venture factory to expand its business in Ghana to serve the domestic and West African regional market.

potential - the possibility of success ที่มีศักยภาพ ที่เป็นไปได้
market potential - the possibility of selling your company's product in new market

shipping
- the transport of goods especially on ships

distributor - a person or business that supplies goods produced by other companies to shops/stores or directly to the public (See Wikipedia)
distributor of various products in the country

leading -
one of the most important
a leading food company - one of the most important food companies

negotiate -
to try to reach an agreement by talking (having formal discussions to work out and solve differences) (See Wikipedia)
deal is signed
- made agreement about doing business together

Chief executive Pipat Paniengvate said his company saw the market potential in the region after shipping Mama products there via another distributor. TF was also hired by a leading food company to produce instant noodles for Ghana since early this year. The company is negotiating with its Ghanaian partner, one of the largest spaghetti producers and a distributor of various products in the country of 24 million. If a deal is signed, TF expects to invest 300 million baht in Ghana to start instant noodle production by next year.

popularity - many people like it
gained popularity

aggressively - done with great energy and intensity
aggressively developed the market

Instant noodles gained popularity in Ghana a few years back when an Indonesian producer aggressively developed the market.

import - to buy or bring in products from another country นำเข้า
tariff - tax on imports
import tariff

in line with - agreeing with, following

international
- between countries ระหว่างประเทศ
strategy - a plan to achieve a goal over a longer period of time (longer than a "tactic")
international market strategy

brand - a type of product made by a particular company ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
the Mama brand
sold under the Mama brand

"Thai President would be the first Thai instant noodle manufacturer to set up a factory in Ghana. There is strong potential there ,but the country is far away and the import tariff is high, so setting up a factory in Ghana is in line with our international market strategy," said Mr Pipat, adding the noodles would likely to be sold under the Mama brand.  Ghana will be the fourth country outside Thailand to have a Mama factory after Myanmar, Cambodia and Bangladesh - where its joint-venture plant is to open in August.  Mr Pipat said the market for instant noodles is Ghana was quite big with only a few competitors.

forecast
- a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
forecast sales


production capacity
- the amount of something that can be produced ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)
expand production capacity

master
plan - the highest level plan that provides the direction for a whole organization over a long period of time
submit - to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
submit a master plan

 industrial estate
- a special area where factories are located

Mama exports are valued at 1.63 billion baht or 16% of the company's total forecast sales of 11 billion this year, up 10% from last year. In addition to Ghana, Mr Pipat said the company planned to expand production capacity in Myanmar with a new factory near the Saha Group's new industrial estate in the country. Saha Pathana Inter Holding is preparing to submit a master plan of its estate sized between 500 and 1,000 rai to the Myanmar government.

production base - the main place where a company's factories are located
over the long term - during a long period of time
spent - used ที่ใช้ไป

"We'll use Myanmar as a production base to export to Europe over the long term," he said. For the domestic market, TF plans to spend 1 billion baht to expand business this year. About 400 million will be spent on new machines at its factory in Chon Buri's Si Racha district.  The rest will be invested in a new wheat flour factory in Rayong province.  TF president Suchai Ratanajiacharon said the new wheat factory will be operated by a new company called President Flour mill Co, a joint venture between TF holding 60%, President Bakery with 10% and its partner Kerry Flour Mills Ltd with 30%. 

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
third quarter - the 7th, 8th and 9th months of the business or government calendar year

annual - happening once a year ประจำปี
annual production capacity

exclusively - only for 
production capacity exclusively for

flour -
white powder made by crushing grains, used to make bread and noodles (See Wikipedia)  แป้งทำอาหาร เช่น ขนมปัง
wheat  flour - (See Wikipedia)

The new wheat flour mill is expected to start operating in next year's third quarter with annual production capacity of 300 tonnes exclusively for Mama noodles.  However, TF will continue to buy wheat flour from a few companies.  "Making our own wheat flour will help to reduce costs," said Mr Pipat.  He said his company had no plan to raise prices as it expects palm oil prices to return to normal in the near future.

year-on-year - a period such as a month or quarter or half-year this year compared to the same time period last year
rapid - happening quickly อย่างรวดเร็ว
rapid growth

staple
- an important product, especially a food, that people eat or use regularly อาหารหลัก, สินค้าหลัก
food staple

inflation (noun) - when all prices are increasing
inflationary (adjective)
pressure - a force causing change
inflationary pressure

Mama is a
staple during times of inflationary pressure.

trade
- the buying and selling of things (goods, financial securities, etc) การค้าขาย

Sales of Mama noodles rose by 11% year-on-year over the first four months, quite rapid growth considering Mama is a staple during times of inflationary pressure. TF shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 131 baht, up two baht, in trade worth 2.29 million baht.

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