Demand for drinking milk products is predicted to slowly recover during 2021 mainly boosted by national lockdown relief measures which are offering financial help to citizens impacted by the pandemic. However, the third wave of COVID-19 infections will remain a major factor in restricting consumers’ frequency of visits to grocery retailers as they remain cautious about being exposed to the virus in public spaces.
The third wave of the pandemic which hit Thailand in early April 2021 prompted the government to introduce a number of restrictive measures including postponing when schools should reopen, delaying the start from 17 May to 1 June 2021 for schools in areas with fewer cases, while online courses have continued to replace face-to-face teaching for red zone regions. Due to the government’s campaign (The National School Milk Programme) to ensure that children are consuming good quality milk every day, schools usually provide milk to all student levels in education institutions.
The competitive landscape of drinking milk products is fairly consolidated amongst four major players in Thailand, led by Lactasoy Co Ltd due to its strength in the largest category of soy drinks, followed by second-ranked soy drinks player Green Spot (Thailand) Co Ltd, and FrieslandCampina (Thailand) PCL and Thai-Danish Farm Cooperative under shelf stable milk.
Thai millennials are continuing to be attracted to the concept of bubble tea, and it has become increasingly fashionable to take a “selfie” with their bubble tea to share with friends on social media. Players within drinking milk products see this as an opportunity to tap into the millennial target audience by launching the brown sugar product in a fresh milk formula as offered by the newer entrant Just Drink from TaoKaeNoi Food & Marketing Co Ltd which launched pasteurised milk in a Taiwanese milk tea flavour to attract consumers who miss travelling, resulting in impressive growth in its first full year in the category.
Soy drinks is predicted to record a stronger performance over the forecast period in both retail volume and value terms (at constant 2021 prices), supported by greater activity by players during 2021 in terms of new product development. Second-ranked Vitamilk from Green Spot (Thailand) Co Ltd for instance, is strengthening its portfolio by developing its existing range with more interesting flavours to cater to younger adults who are more receptive to innovation, in addition to office workers through its Dalgona Macchiato soy milk served in a glass bottle for a more premium look; it highlights its Korean dalgona formula following the popularity of the dalgona coffee craze during the pandemic which was widely shared on social media platforms, and is low in sugar.
After a marginal drop in demand during 2020 due to increasing price sensitivity, the niche category of other alternatives milk, which is dominated by the offer of almond and rice products, is predicted to return to dynamic growth rates over the forecast period to outperform all other drinking milk products. Other milk alternatives are perceived to be higher in nutrients and lower in fat compared to cow’s milk, in addition to being suitable for vegans, consumers with lactose intolerance and those who have concerns over the sustainability and production processes linked to dairy farming.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Drinking Milk Products industry in Thailand with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Drinking Milk Products research and analysis database.
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