BANGKOK, Feb 28, 2017 – (ACN Newswire) – S.Khonkaen Foods Public Company Limited (SET:SORKON) Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Charoen Rujirasopon discusses the company’s strategy and outlook in The Executive Talk (TET) by

TET: How are Sorkon’s businesses progressing?

In the past few years, we expanded our fishball capacity by 50% from 9,000 tonnes per annum to 15,000 tonnes and is now operating at over 10,000 tonnes so we foresee that future expansion may be required in the next two to three years. We estimate that we currently have 80% market share of the modern trade market in Thailand and export to the US, Europe, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Australia and other markets as well. With our meat products we started with Chinese and Vietnamese sausages over 20 years ago and integrated backwards to have own our feed mills and farming. Today, we are focused on the niche products where we have a competitive advantage and a recognised brand. Internationally we have operations in Europe to service the market there with its own facilities, marketing and distribution. Finally, in the past few years Sorkon expanded into Quick Service Restaurants and Snack products to utilise to expand our businesses and continue the company’s growth.

TET: Could you explain your strategy with the Snack business group and its future plans?

We are continually tweaking and launching new snack products. Currently we have one brand called Entree and plan to launch a second brand Kaizen this year. We market our products as considerably healthier and tastier than the other products available. Entree is predominately a meat based snack and we are launched two new flavours to meet the new trend of people concerned about their food, Entree barbecued crispy pork with white sesame and Entree barbecued crispy pork with Nori Seaweed. Kaizen will be a seafood based snack utilising our existing facilities. Our aim is to introduce two new products, fish skin and salmon chips, with the first to be launched in the second quarter of 2017.

TET: Sorkon has an aggressive strategy to increase its QSR branches, could you explain how this will be achieved?

Thai Food is world famous but there is no recognised restaurant nor company as a leader in Thai Food and that is what we aim to be. First we aim to build a solid base in Thailand and throughout the ASEAN region and then to expand internationally to China or the US. We utilised our knowledge and experience in meat and seafood products to launch two cuisine focused restaurants, Zaap which is Northeastern Thai food and Yunaan which is Chinese. Today, we have 14 locations for our Zaap restaurants and this year we target to open one new location per month. We are also developing a new packaging for ready-to-eat products as our home delivery service now accounts for 20-25% of our total sales in the QSR segment. Our second QSR is Yunnan where we have 32 outlets including three in Cambodia and 2 in Laos. In the future, we will launch a new kiosk-style format. The reasons for this is because it will allow us to engage with future franchisees in within local communities thereby allowing us to accelerate faster. We are constantly engaged with our customers and will offer new dishes such as dim sum, vegetable dishes, and pork knuckle packs for sale in hypermarket locations that allow the customers to carry them home. We have invested heavily into our training centers, food studios, food specialists, research and development and quality control because we need the combination of capable people and operations to be successful. One key focus we have is to limit the number of items on the menu but to ensure that the quality, freshness and cleanliness of our restaurants and menu items are of high standards. 

TET: What differentiates Sorkon from its competitors?

Our adherence to quality and hygiene sets us apart from our competitors. For example, with fishballs we have a leading market share in modern trade yet only have a 5% market share in the wet markets. The reason for this is because the customer’s there are focused purely on price and not quality nor cleanliness and this allows for the cottage industry to invest 200,000 baht to make these low quality food products. We have to invest up to 400 million baht in machinery because we are focused on quality and hygiene which allows us to be qualified to export to the global market. 

TET: What are the biggest risks facing your business?

Our biggest competitor is ourselves and despite our revenues reaching new high’s each year we want to grow exponentially faster. For us to do this we must be open and actively looking for partners across each of our business groups to access the global network. 

TET: Where do you see SORKON in five years from now?

There are many potential opportunities for us now whether it be growing with partners or organically. For our traditional Thai foods and seafood’s business we will continue to look for new markets and expand our capacity accordingly. With the snacks business we will continue to expand with new products and finally QSR which will be our key growth driver as our target is to reach 300 outlets over the next five years. 

Source: ACN Newswire

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