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Ice cream push for Nestlé Thailand

10-Jun-2004

Swiss food giant Nestle has said that its Thai division is about to introduce another major drive in its aims to consolidate the still fragmented ice cream market in Thailand.

Nestle Ice Cream has said that it intends to invest a total of THB 1.15 billion (€23.4m) in an attempt to further expand its business in the Kingdom. The company said that approximately 75 per cent of budget had been allocated towards marketing activities which will feature new products and advertising.

The rest is earmarked to be spent on developing its Bangchan ice cream factory in Minbur. The company says it is planning on doubling production capacity from 30-35 million litres a year to 60-70 million litres over the course of the next few years.

Currently Nestle Thailand has a 36 per cent share of Thailand's ice cream market, which is estimated to be worth a total of THB 5.4 billion, but the latest programme aims to push that market share up to 40 per cent. Nestle is keen to gain some ground on rival ice cream maker Unilever which currently has a 40 to 45 per cent leading share of the market. Despite not being the number one ice cream maker its division is still its strongest in a market where it only commands a 6.6 per cent share of the overall food and drink market.

Last year the company successfully increased its share of the market by launching a range of take-home ice cream products for the market, which helped to boost its market share from around 30 per cent. Nestlé launched seven varieties of ice cream including traditional flavours made with coconuts, peanuts and condensed milk.

Meanwhile Unilever is also looking to maintain its leading position in the market, by announcing this week the launch of a Wall's brand low-fat version of its ice cream in an effort to capitalize on growing niche markets.