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Coffee giant embraces potential in Thailand

Highlighting the potential of the coffee market in Thailand, it has been announced that the largest coffee producer in Laos is looking to expand west into the neighbouring Thailand.

The move by Dao-Heuang Group is in a bid to double its overall sales to $320 million (£190.4 million) in the next five years, with the aim of doubling its sales in the Thai market to $40 million. Meanwhile, within the next two years, it hopes to have a one to two per cent share of the country's 20-billion baht (£368.9 million) coffee market.

In the past, the vast majority of coffee cultivated in Thailand was Robusta – the cheaper variety that is typically favoured for producing instant coffee. However, in the late 1970s, Arabica production took hold, as the Thai / UN Crop Replacement and Community Development Project sought alternatives to the cultivation of opium poppies

According to the Bangkok Post, Dao-Heuang vice-president Boonheuang Litdang commented: "Though the competition in Thailand’s coffee market is very tough, we are confident of competing in the market thanks to our complete coffee business operation, starting from cultivation, varieties development and advanced production, right through to finished products."

Currently, the group provides three kinds of coffee products to the Thai market – namely, instant coffee, roasted beans and premixed 3-in-1. 

Around 80 per cent of the company's business comes from coffee operations. However, the expansion will not just be covering these kinds of products, with it being reported Dao-Heuang is looking to enhance its offering of other items, such as dried fruit products.

In order to support the expansion, the group has been channelling resources into brand awareness, launching its very first, 30-second advert on television recently.

Meanwhile, it is also looking to grow its coffee operations elsewhere in the world – notably in the US, Cambodia, the Middle East, Vietnam and China, with Dao-Heuang looking to be able to boast at least one distributor in each country.