The competition among bottled green tea market is getting stiffer. However, no one can say for sure that the brands with powerful financial capability would be able to crush weaker rivals.
The market in the last few years witnessed the failure of some big brands managed by foreign companies which were rich in finance and experiences.
“Kira” tea of Japanese Kirin Company has left the market just after a short period on sale. “Top” of Wonderfarm, which very succeeded with two other tea brands, now holds a very small market share.
Wonderfarm’s managers could not find any weak points of the rivals to attack them. Meanwhile, Kirin could not generate a specialty which could tell the difference between its and the rivals’ products.
According to VBA, the Vietnamese drink manufacturers’ association, the non-alcoholic drink market in Vietnam is very attractive in the eyes of investors with the average growth rate of 20 percent per annum over the last 5 years.
Every Vietnamese drinks 3 liters of bottled non-alcoholic drink a year, while the ratio is 50 liters in the Philippines, which means that there are still more opportunities to exploit in Vietnam.
After the failure with Kira, Japanese Kirin Company has figured out another way for it to follow to develop bottled green tea products. Kirin has joined forces with Acecook Vietnam to develop Latte, the products with milk, and jCHA, the brand which has been famous in Japan already.
It is predictable what Kirin aims to when it cooperates with Acecook. The well- known instant noodle manufacturer in Vietnam has a firm and large distribution network with more than 100,000 sales agents, well understands the Vietnamese market, and has the products favored by Vietnamese consumers.
The cooperation would help Kirin cut down the input costs, including the logistics expenses, which allows it to reduce the production costs and determine the success of the retail chain.
Tan Hiep Phat, which understands that it now has many rivals, has built one more factory in Chu Lai economic zone which would serve the central region and the Central Highlands, and a factory in Ha Nam which would serve the northern market, thus raising its total capacity to 2 billion liters per annum.
Meanwhile, PepsiCo has set up a joint venture with Japanese Suntory, a soft drink manufacturer, in which it holds 49 percent of stakes. With the project, the big guys plan to expand the food and soft drink business, while the branding and marketing campaigns would focus on Lipton Pure Green branding.
Marketing experts say that there is no market barrier for bottled green tea products, because the technology is simple, while green tea is a kind of popular product, which is easily approachable from different levels of the distribution networks.
The existence of the 3 big guys could not prevent a new comer on the market – Thien Tra Vedan, which hit the market in 2012.
Vedan has been well known in Vietnam as a seasoning powder manufacturer. However, analysts believe that it was a reasonable decision for it to join the bottled green tea market, also a sector of the fast consumer goods manufacturing.
The advantage of Vedan in developing Thien Tra Vedan products is that it has a large distribution network and existing customers. The only thing Vedan has to do now is to persuade consumers to spend money on Thien Tra as well.
By choosing Noo Phuoc Thinh, a singer, as the brand ambassador, Vedan targets the young customers, who are busy and want convenient products.