Big brand aims to share the 45 billion sales in Thailand’s plant-based foods market

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Plant-based foods battlefield, the market where companies compete for a new business opportunity.   The Thai Chamber of Commerce points out that the plant-based meat market is rising this year, the sales surpassing 45 billion.  “CPF” is confident that the market will skyrocket by 40%, spending 3 billion, creating the Meat Zero brand to enter the Chinese export market. Aims to push sales through $200 million in the next three years, while Nestle launches a new brand  “Harvest Gourmet” aiming to penetrate the food market.

The journalist reported that THAIFEX-ANUGA World of Food Asia 2022 which just ended last week, is a stage to showcase future food innovations. More than a dozen brands of plant protein or plant-based foods from major food manufacturers and newcomers participated in the event, such as Charoen Pokphand Foods Group (CPF), the manufacturer and distributor of Meat Zero, Betagro, the owner of Meatly,  Avatar Meat in collaboration with Mitr Phol, and Thai Yu Nian Group brought OMG products to exhibit at the booth of the Department of International Trade Promotion.

Including product development newcomers Molly Ally, a plant-based ice cream brand, Mantra brand, a plant-based seafood brand, and Absolute Plant brand that produces plant-based proteins. from young jackfruit and scrambled eggs.

In addition, Nestle’s new range Harvest Gourmet targets the food services group Tyson Foods, owner of the brand First Pride, to produce 100% plant-based food products.

$4.5 billion Thai plant protein market

Mr Wisit Limluecha, Vice Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce revealed that “Prachachat Business” The trend of plant protein products has continued to grow. Bloomberg estimates that the global plant protein market will grow this year to @44.2 billion, increasing $8.6 billion from $35.6 billion in 2021. And is expected to exceed 108 billion US dollars in the next 5 years and has a growth rate of 21% per year. As for the market value in Thailand, according to Euro Stat data, in 2019, the market value is approximately 28 billion baht and is expected to grow. Average 10% per year, so in 2024 it is expected that the market value will rise to 45 billion baht.

Currently, technical innovations of plant-based foods can produce more variety such as plant-based milk, milk made from different types of beans, and plant-based meat made from plants. Use raw materials from plants that provide high protein to produce, developing taste, smell, and colour to look like real meat with new technologies.  In addition, there are other products in the plant-based group, which are expected to be well received in the future.

CPF continues to push forward.

Mr Anat Chulintorn, Executive Vice President of International trading business Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CPF) said that the behaviour of consumers who have turned to health care and more importance on the environment, causing the plant food market to begin to play a greater role For CPF has begun launching meat products from the brand Meat Zero to market since May 2021.

The brand has prepared a budget of 3,000 million baht in 3 years, this will accelerate brand building. Focus on the Chinese export market and new markets with the goal that by the end of the year to become the leader of the Asian plant-based market and in the next 3 years to be in the top 3 of the global level and within the next 3 years want to push sales hit 200 million US dollars or 100% main growth.d

“In the beginning, CPF had an investment of about 300 million baht to build a plant-based factory in Mahachai, Samut Sakhon province with a capacity of 12,000 tons per year and started exporting to Singapore and Hong Kong with sales of 250 million baht during 3- 4 months.  In addition to a joint venture with a partner in the Czech Republic To produce plant-based foods with a capacity of 9,000 tons per year, exports to the UK, Germany and plans to build more factories to cover and be sufficient to export to the EU market.”

Mr Akkarachai Satitpinyo, Assistant Vice President of Plant Base Product Strategy, Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited, added that currently, plant base products have a global growth trend, including Thailand from trends in health. And now, more entrepreneurs are jumping into the market with high competition. Most of them compete on the innovation of flavour and affordability.

From now on, the company is preparing to diversify its product lines and is studying the production of alternative meat from various plants to replace the main use of soybeans. At present, although raw material prices and production costs are rising, the company is still trying to fix the price. To make products more accessible to consumers amid highly competitive market conditions

Mr Marten Kerad, Managing Director of Alternative Protein Business, Thai Union Group Public Company Limited, revealed that the world is changing rapidly. Complexity and rising costs all affect the plant protein market, but we hope the gap between the price of traditional protein and plant protein will be less.  Make our plant protein products more accessible to consumers.

“I want everyone to try the alternative proteins,  We have received very good feedback of ThaiFex-Anuga from both business customers and consumers.”

This year’s business plan we look at creating a market for alternative protein products, which is considered a new product group.  Both in Thailand and other parts of the world by raising awareness among consumers and thorough product testing.  We expect this will lead to more consumers becoming interested in the alternative protein product range. In addition, new products will be launched soon.

Nestle Drills Food Service

Ms Phathinee Suthisamdaeng, Sales Executive of CTI Food Supply Co., Ltd., the distributor of Nestle’s Harvest Gourmet, stated that Nestle has a factory in Malaysia, that produces plant-based proteins that are Halal certified. Recently entered the Thai market by focusing on food service businesses such as McDonald’s, Deal & Deluca and IKEA, etc.

“Having new entrepreneurs jump into the market increases the competition. And the price level of plant protein is still 2-3 times higher than normal protein such as minced chicken 1,800 baht per kg or burger 58 baht per piece, but the quality is good and the taste is similar to meat.”

Launching a new camp to penetrate the market

Mr Kanchanat Bupphachuen, CMO, Molly Ally brand, Plant Base ice cream, said that this year’s booth was launched at Thaifex for the first time, and has been experimenting with the market for a year after winning the award International Award New Venture from the USA.  Molly Ally ice cream is made with almonds, oats and soy, with fewer calories than cow’s milk. Using coconut flower sugar, there are 12 flavours to choose from.  The price level is similar to that of popular ice cream brands that are sold to the general public by 95-105 baht/1 scoop.

“Right now in the process of looking for partners to expand branches in the form of franchises, targeting an increase of 50 branches this year, which foreign importers are interested in. It is expected that the contract will be gradually negotiated in the next order and has plans to expand more factories from the current maximum production capacity of 2,000 cups per day.”

Ms Napaporn Apiwanopas Director of Sales and Marketing Wuttichai Group, the manufacturer of Absolute Plant brand base plants, revealed that the company has just begun to develop innovative plant-based proteins and launched the brand Absolute Plant last January.  Currently, there are 2 categories, namely Plant Base Meat, and Crispy Pork, with a mixture of fried eggs, and ready-to-cook products such as clams, crabs, made from young jackfruit, etc., targeting the new generation who love health. It will expand to 100% e-commerce and begin to expand distribution channels in leading retail stores such as gourmet markets and start exporting as well.

“Our products taste similar to pork with zero cholesterol, but all are high in protein.  All of them go through the process from the selection of quality raw materials and production that meets international standards such as HACCP and ISO.”

Kris Lam
Author: Kris Lam

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