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According to Mr Vathit Chokwatana, vice president of the Sahapat Group, Thailand’s largest consumer good manufacturer, instant noodle market felt its lowest fall in 44 years with its sale of “Mama” noodles grew a mere 0.4%.
He attributed main reason for the steep fall to the shrinking purchasing power of its core customers, the grass root people, falling farm prices which forced them to turn to other cheaper food instead, such as white rice in smaller packs.
He said the company set growth sale target for instant noodles at 5% but could achieve only 0.4%.
Previously the growth forecast of Mama instant noodles was based on economic growth which it earlier set at 5-6% in the case of economic slowdown.
But now sales target has to be adjusted down from 0-1%, and that more marketing campaign would be needed to boost sale, he said.
He said Mama held two major campaign to stimulate sale last year by hiring well-known celebrities such as Um Patcharapha as presenter.
This could help to boost up to 7% growth in one month, he said.
He said Mama is no longer an economic indicator as some said when the country was hit by bad economy during the past two years, sales of Mama also was bad though it was sold at only 6 baht per pack.
But he said sale of Mama cups which fit the lifestyle of new generation could maintain its 8% growth and now could capture up to 54% of noodle cup market.