The Ministry of Public Health’s new regulation to restrict the production, import and sale of partially hydrogenated oils, as well as food containing them, came into effect on 19 January 2019. This step was taken with trans-fat consumption being scientifically proven to increase the risk of coronary artery disease.
In terms of foodservice, volume growth benefited from the increase in the number of restaurants and cafés in the country, with Thailand’s tourism industry continuing to flourish. Nevertheless, like in the retail channel, sales of margarine and spreads declined due to the new regulation on partially hydrogenated fats.
As consumers become more educated on food labelling, they are scrutinising food labels more closely when shopping. With The Food and Drug Administration forcing butter manufacturers to rename their products to match the ingredient contents, butter labelling is now clearer with a specific naming convention tied to a predetermined fat content.
Imported butter brands are perceived to offer better quality, but their higher price point puts them at a disadvantage compared with local brands. Thai consumers are price-sensitive and tend to go for the more economical options.
The foodservice channel is more lucrative for companies than the retail channel when it comes to butter and spreads, due to the high incidence of consumers of eating out. Local butter brands with more affordable price points like Allowrie, Orchid and Dannie are expanding their presence in foodservice, helped by bakeries shifting to butter as a result of the ban on trans fats.
KCG Corp Co Ltd extended its lead in butter and spreads in 2019. The firm has its own local brands such as Allowrie and Imperial, while it also distributes several imported brands such as Président, Oldenburger and Meadow Lea.
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