Suntory bets on direct sales of health supplements in Thailand

BANGKOK, NNA - Japan's Suntory Food & Beverage Ltd. is implementing a new market strategy in Thailand by officially launching its first health supplements and selling products directly through telesales, website and the messaging app Line.

Brand's Suntory International Co., a wholly-owned food supplement sales subsidiary based in Bangkok, says annual sales of Brand's products in the Thai market from such direct selling channels will reach 500 million baht ($16 million) in 2020.

Suntory has allocated a 25 million baht budget to launch "Brand's ActivMove," a tablet dietary supplement sold exclusively through such direct sales in Thailand. It expects the new product to generate 200 million baht in sales in three years.

Suntory's Thai unit has opened a direct business department as a new market channel to bridge any gap stemming from conventional market venues such as shops and stores, said Yuichiro Ara, head of the department for Southeast Asia and North Asia. "Introducing a new business model also serves to respond to consumer behavior in purchasing more products through e-commerce and social media," he added.

Suntory also runs such direct business channels for Brand's products in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Nanthana Khaopleum, general manager of Brand's Suntory (Thailand) Co., another Thai subsidiary, said sales of Brand's products in the Southeast Asian country totaled more than 11 billion baht last year and are expected to grow 8 to 10 percent this year. (NNA/Kyodo)