Bubbling brilliance: Thai soft drink market fizzes with 16% growth, ending years of flat fizz

Photo: Bangkok Post.

The Thai soft drink market has seen a significant upturn, with a growth rate of 16% between September last year and August this year. This surge is a stark contrast to the previous five years’ tepid single-digit growth. The resurgence of food service restaurant operations can be credited for this change.

Environmental conditions such as the El Niño phenomenon, which resulted in an extended hot weather period, have played a role in enticing new soft drink consumers and stimulating frequent consumption among existing ones. This was noted by Suporn Denpaisarn, the marketing director for the non-alcoholic beverage division at Thai Drinks Co, the distributor of est cola.

Cola producers have also resumed intensive promotional initiatives, aligning with an increasingly optimistic tourism outlook in Thailand. Concurrently, Suporn remarked that Thai citizens are spending more time outdoors.

“We observed an increase in demand across various packaging formats for cola drinks, and this demand was not limited to just the summer season. This persisted even during the off-peak seasons due to the extended duration of hot weather compared to last year.”

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She referenced AC Nielsen market research that indicated the value of Thailand’s soft drink market during the initial eight months of this year was 62 billion baht, which equates to 2.1 billion litres.

This represents a year-on-year increase of 16% and a substantial rise from the 50 billion baht recorded during the corresponding timeframe in 2019.

Soft Drink Market Growth

According to Suporn, est cola recorded the highest sales growth, with a 22.6% increase from September last year to August this year, outpacing the industry’s 16% growth rate.

In volume terms, the est brand’s market share has risen to 9.1% as of August, a significant increase from 7% during the same period the previous year.

Additionally, top-of-mind awareness of the est brand has risen to 18%, a considerable increase from the 6% recorded last year. This opens up the possibility of converting consumers of rival brands into loyal est customers.

The company is optimistic about the cola soft drink market’s prospects in the coming year, given the forecast of dry, hot weather next year and the government’s economic stimulus campaigns.

Thai Drinks Co has strategic plans to earmark 200 million baht to promote the est brand among Gen Z consumers in fiscal 2024, which spans from October 1 to September 30 next year.

Further Collaborations

To engage Gen Z, the company intends to allocate 80 million baht for collaborations with popular music partners such as A-Time, a music competition organiser, and GMM Show, a leading music event organiser in Thailand. The company will present two music events, namely Est Cola Presents Hotwave Music Awards 2023 and Est Cola Presents Monster Music Festival 2023, to give Gen Z music enthusiasts a platform to express their unique identities.

Around 40% of est brand consumers belong to the Gen Z demographic (15 to 24 years old). Through these campaigns, the company aims to deepen its connection with Gen Z and attract a larger Gen Z customer base.

Lastly, the company plans to launch the est cola Monster can package along with premium collectable items from October to December this year, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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