Asian sauce and seasoning manufacturer Lee Kum Kee Sauce Group is exploring opportunities to enter Thailand’s ready-to-eat food market through collaborations with local partners. Having been in the industry for 135 years, the company recognises the growth potential in this sector as it caters to the demands of busy consumers seeking convenience.
Cheryl Chan, the regional marketing director of Mahsuri Dagang Sdn Bhd (Lee Kum Kee’s company name), highlighted the sizeable nature of Thailand‘s food market during her recent visit to the country. Lee Kum Kee’s ready-to-eat products are currently available in Hong Kong and exported to the US market.
Research by Krungsri indicates that the market value of ready-to-eat meals in Thailand stands at 44 billion baht, with 26 billion attributed to dried and shelf-stable ready-to-eat food, and 18 billion to chilled ready-to-eat meals.
The China-based Lee Kum Kee brand exports over 300 sauce and seasoning products to 100 countries across five continents. The company entered the Thai market in 1999, with Pan Food Co Ltd handling the distribution of products to hotels, restaurants, and catering services, while Loxley Trading Co oversees marketing and distribution through traditional and modern trade channels.
Around 40 Lee Kum Kee products are available in Thailand, including popular items such as oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
The company recently showcased a wide range of sauces and condiments at the Thaifex – Anuga Asia expo, aiming to strengthen its presence in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Chan emphasised the immense potential that Thailand holds for Lee Kum Kee, particularly in the sauce and seasoning segment, given the substantial size of the food business market. Statista estimates that Thailand’s food market will be worth US$67.4 billion in 2023, with an expected annual growth of 5.32% between 2023 and 2028, resulting in a market volume of US$87.4 billion in 2028.
To capitalise on this growth trend, Lee Kum Kee plans to launch three new products in the retail sector during the third quarter of this year, focusing on “healthy products” that have seen increased demand following the pandemic. Chan said…
“Our goal is to establish ourselves as a trusted sauce brand in Thai households as soon as possible.”
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