Thai Union Group is to take its international seafood brand King Oscar into China.
The company is launching frozen salmon, lobster and shrimp products, as well as unspecified “value-added” lines, under the “premium” brand.
“Thai Union’s initial focus will be on the Beijing and Shanghai markets,” Faisal Sheikh, managing director of emerging markets for Thai Union, said. “Initially, [the brand] will be available online at Alibaba.com and JD.com, as well as through various specialty food websites. Thai Union will also pursue more traditional channels, including high-end retail and foodservice outlets.”
Sheikh added: “Consumers in China are increasingly demanding the type of premium seafood that the King Oscar brand offers. For example, King Oscar Sashimi and Sushi salmon products are made from the most premium cut of salmon, carefully hand cut, and packed with the most stringent quality controls. Consumers can enjoy these products at home without worrying about product deterioration that comes from over-the-counter alternatives.”
Thai Union believes the emerging markets of China, the Middle East and neighbouring countries in south-east Asia will be central to the company meeting a target of US$8bn in annual sales by 2020.
The group’s presence in China includes the Century International (China) Co. Ltd venture, which it owns alongside Philippines-based food group Century Pacific Group of Companies. The venture markets the canned tuna brand Century in China.