Thaifex 2019

Tom yum biscuits: Lotte targets Thailand’s adult consumer market with sophisticated flavours

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Thai Lotte is launching two new biscuits flavours - tom yum kung and spicy bbq cream - this month.
Thai Lotte is launching two new biscuits flavours - tom yum kung and spicy bbq cream - this month.

Related tags Lotte tom yum Biscuits

Lotte is targeting Thailand’s adult snacking market with two new stick biscuits featuring “sophisticated flavours” – tom yum kung and spicy bbq cream – its country MD told us in an exclusive interview.

Priced at THB$20 (US$0.60) per box, Lotte is launching savoury stick biscuits the first time in Thailand this month. 

The two new flavours were showcased during THAIFEX-World of Food Asia exhibition held at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

“This time, the inside of our new product is not chocolate, but tom yum kung and bbq cream. We launch these to capture the Asian market with local flavours. In the case of Singapore, salted egg chips is booming. Consumers are always looking for this type of new surprises,” ​Managing Director of Thai Lotte, Akira Shimizu, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“Today (at the trade fair), we have good response from customers and especially the tom yum kung flavour has captured more attention.”

The two flavours are meant to attract more adult consumers.

“Our basic flavours are mainly targeting the teenage girls, the two new flavours are targeting adult who have some experience with sophisticated flavours. We are not targeting the kids, the kids are always chocolate or strawberry or banana, the basic flavours that are easy to understand,” ​Shimizu said.

Besides selling in Thailand, there are plans to export the two new flavours in others South East Asian countries, before moving to the Middle East or America.

As for Japan, he pointed out that the market has not much experience with the tom yum kung flavours and thus, export plans are still in discussion.

Small packs benefits

Besides selling stick biscuits in boxes, there are also plans to sell the product in smaller packets, priced at THB$5 each. 

Shimizu said that this was because the sales channels in Thailand were evenly spread out between modern retail (55%), such as supermarkets, convenience stores, and e-commerce, and traditional retail (45%), mainly the mum-and-pop stores, and consumers who buy from these two channels have different needs.

“In traditional markets, the consumers don’t buy in big bulks, they want to consume a small portion, only one time consumption. We see these markets selling very small bottles of shampoo and body wash, this is also same for food.”

Noticing the trend, the firm had adopted this distribution strategy about three years ago for its classic stick biscuits flavours, and the rate of distribution of its products in mum-and-pop stores have increased.

“Previously, we tried to sell the box version in mum-and-pop stores and it was difficult, the distribution percentage of our biscuits is only 3% to 4% in these stores. Nowadays with the small packets, it has gone up to more than 25%.”

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