Dusit Thani, a Thai hotel and property development company, has expanded into the food sector.
It launched a new food division – Dusit Foods – and a product range at the recent Thafex World of Foods Asia 2019 event.
Dusit Thani it is targeting THB1bn (US$31.8m) in annual revenue within three years from the venture with THB400m being targeted this year.
The company told event attendees that its strategy is to invest in food-related companies with strong growth potential. It also announced its plans to market its own instant food brand, named Khong Thai, produced in partnership with Australian chef David Thompson and aimed mainly at international markets.
Its initial marketing mix will be 90% overseas and 10% domestic, with a particular focus on the US because of the large consumer base and popularity of Thai food. The UK, Germany, France and other European markets are set to follow.
Dusit said it plans to penetrate both online and offline markets, reaching directly to chefs, food entrepreneurs and foodservice operators.
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The products will initially be aimed at “white tablecloth” restaurants, with a view to targeting key food suppliers later.
To expedite its growth, Dusit recently invested in two companies in the food industry. It has taken a 26% stake in NR Instant Produce Co. (NRF), a manufacturer and exporter of instant food and beverages for more than 50 brands and a 51% stake in Epicure Catering (ECC), a provider of catering services to international schools in Thailand. Dusit Foods said it plans to increase its holding in ECC to 70% with further investment in early 2020.
The company’s initial product line-up is made up of green curry, massaman curry, yellow curry and laksa. Each dish comes in two styles – a ready-to-cook simmer sauce and concentrated paste, which, depending on the recipe, is designed to be combined with coconut milk and/or water.
Dusit said popular Thai recipes such as pad Thai sauce – and traditional sauces such as sriracha, fish sauce, white soy sauce and oyster sauce – are all slated to be introduced soon. The product line up is expected to comprise at least 20 different items within the next two years.
Suphajee Suthumpun, group chief executive officer of Dusit International, said: “By leveraging and complementing our core operations in hospitality, we are confident that Dusit Foods will be a fruitful venture for our company.
“The return on investments will be a key driver in achieving our target of THB400m from food business this year. And these investments, coupled with the introduction of our own food products, will be another important factor in our sustainable and profitable growth as a company.”