Southland Ito-Yokado operates 7-Eleven convenience stores in the United States. CP Group Executive Vice Chairman Sarasin Viraphol said if the deal were concluded, the group would start supplying the product next year. Despite an economic slowdown in the US, it is an attractive market with high demand for foods. 7-Eleven is the biggest convenience-store chain in the US, with a 75-per-cent market share. There are about 4,000 7-Eleven stores in the US.
Sarasin said the CP Group was expanding its business in the US through several activities, such as establishing partnerships with US food enterprises. The company is planning to cooperate with a sauce supplier in creating recipes for fast-food giant McDonald’s. The supplier must provide about 500 recipes a year for McDonald’s.
The CP Group also wants to export to other countries by establishing manufacturing bases in all targeted markets. Vice chairman Ajva Taulananda said the group was continuously expanding its production bases in markets like Russia, Eastern Europe, India, China, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. For instance, the group will soon operate an integrated chicken business in Russia, while China will become its largest integrated food-manufacturing base in the next five years.
“The group should achieve export growth of 4-5 per cent this year,” said Ajva, adding that the baht’s appreciation had caused minimal effects on the very large CP Group.However, he called on the government to stabilise the baht’s value to no stronger than 34 against the US dollar and help small and medium-sized enterprises cope with the effects of the strong currency.CP Retailing and Marketing senior vice president Wisade Wisidwinyoo said sales of frozen, chilled and bakery products would grow about 25 per cent this year to Bt4 billion.The firm will spend about Bt100 million to expand its bakery business in Khon Kaen and another Bt100 million each in Phitsanulok and Surat Thani provinces. It will also invest about Bt250 million to establish a chill plant in Chon Buri’s Sri Racha district next year.
Sukhawat Dansermsuk, president of both Global Kitchen and CP Interfood (Thailand), said Global Kitchen’s Chester’s Grill restaurant chain would achieve about Bt1.5 billion in sales revenues this year, up from last year’s Bt1.2 billion. The company wants to increase its outlets this year from 130 to 150.The company targets growth of 10-12 per cent to Bt400 million to 500 million this year for sales of its frozen foods. It recently launched a premium dog food under its Jerhigh brand, to serve upper-market demand locally and abroad. Sales of Bt50 million are targeted this year.
Meanwhile, Crop Integration Business Group CEO and president Montri Congtakultien said the group would fully support government plans to start field trials of genetically modified organisms if the government took measures to ensure people’s safety.