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Phuket Business: Coca-Cola pouring B200mn into Thai cola battle; New player enters market

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Phuket Business: Coca-Cola pouring B200mn into Thai cola battle; New player enters market | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Coca-Cola (Coke) is spending 200 million baht on marketing in the final quarter of this year in hopes of surpassing Pepsi to become the undisputed leader of Thailand’s 38.5 billion baht carbonated-drink market.

Colas represent about 75% of Thailand’s carbonated drink market. This is followed by flavored drinks (20%) and lemon-lime beverages (5%). The cola segment is also the most competitive, with international brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and Big Cola, in addition to local newcomer, Est (see below) fighting for a share.

As part of Coke’s 200mn baht marketing effort, the firm is conducting the largest sampling campaign ever in Thailand, along with a nationwide tour to interact with consumers; one highlight was distributing a million bottles of Coke in a single day.

In a recent interview with The Nation, Thiti Tuangsithtanon, marketing manager of Coke’s Thailand subsidiary, said that the soda drink market was projected to increase by 11% year-on-year in the first nine months of this year, while Coke would be able to grow its domestic sales by 20% over the same period…

“We expect that the overall carbonated drink market will be on par with 2010, with 12 to 15% growth [for the entire year]. The market was flat last year due to the massive flooding… We expect the market to grow again this year driven by positive factors, including the coming of new brands, and more investment allocated in the industry by both existing and new players,” he said.

“Having a strong alliance with local partners – Thai Nam Thip and Haad Thip – is considered as one of the factors driving our success in accessing individual consumers.

They have provided us with local insight and know-how regarding consumers and the market situation,” he said.

New cola player ‘est’ ambitious
Serm Suk has set an ambitious target for its recently launched ‘est’ brand to become Thailand’s cola segment leader within three years.

The company aims for est to achieve 8 billion baht in sales in its first year: “We aim to have 25% market share and to take the number two spot in the local cola drink market in the first year, and be the market leader by the end of three years,” said Dhitivute Bulsook, president of Serm Suk.

“We will invest 300mn baht in the last two months of this year to boost awareness of est, and another 900mn baht in proactive marketing activities next year,” Dhitivute said.

He added that while 40% of Thai consumers are loyal to either Pepsi or Coke, about 60% of them are brand switchers, willing to try new cola beverages when they appear on the market.

He described Thailand as a unique beverage market where returnable glass bottles still play a major packaging role, representing between 60 and 70% of the market, with PET bottles and cans making up the remainder.

“Our capacity for handling returnable glass bottles, which are owned assets, is our unbeatable advantage. [The volume of] returnable glass bottles is still growing at an average of 5 to 6% per annum,” he said.

Parinya Permpanich, Serm Suk’s marketing and sales operation director, said the company has five bottling plants and 48 branch offices across the Kingdom.

The company has 1,200 sales trucks, 150,000 coolers and more than 200,000 retail outlets and eateries that are ready to support the est product line, he said.

— Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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