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10May2001 VIETNAM: A Sketch of the Local Drinks Market.

Vietnam's mineral and purified water market will experience itshighest growth during the 2000-2010 period, while the golden age offruit juices will be from 2005 to 2020, forecast economists.

Tonics and vitamin-containing drinks are now the most preferred onthe market and will thrive until 2010, as are dairy products. The demandfor higher-class drinks like ginseng tea and botanical drinks is also onthe rise.

The soft drink market grew at 20% annually during 1993 and 2000.But demand has yet to put pressure on producers as the consumption rateper head only stands at 9.5 liters a year. Plants are still runningbelow their capacity.

Most of available drink production establishments (55% are locatedin the South) produce carbonated soft drinks, and mineral and purifiedwater. Foreign-invested enterprises (numbered at 10) account for 71% ofcarbonated drink market. They recorded sales of 320 million liters lastyear.

150 state-owned enterprises nationwide, with a combined capacity of663.5 million liters a year, are operating at 60% of the output andproduce different kinds of soft drinks. Private and joint-stockproducers (numbered at about 120) hold a stake of 11% and have a totalcapacity of 130 million liters a year. The best known local privatefirms are Tribeco and Festi.

Fruit juices have yet to record high sales because their prices arehigh compared to those of fresh fruits. The fruit juice industry reports60 enterprises capable of processing 150,000 tons of produce, equivalentto 5-7% of the country's fruit output. Most of the plants were builtover 30 years ago and use outdated technology and equipment, resultingin the high cost of 20-25% of input material.

Some investors have set up fruit juice plants to tap the country'sample fruit supply and prepare for a demand increase. These investorsinclude the 8 million-liter-a-year Dona Newtower (Taiwan), the 6million-liter-a-year Delta Joint-venture, and the 5,000 ton-a-year plantof Tien Giang Province Fruit & Vegetable Company in the South. Otherplants in cities and provinces of Hanoi, Hai Phong, Kien Giang, HaiDuong, Bac Giang and Hoa Binh are in the pipeline.
(c)2001 Toan Viet Limited Company.



The soft drinks industry in India has one of the lowest per capita consumption levels in the world, reports Food Chain Asia. Coke and Pepsi, realizing this at the beginning of the 1990s, set out to capture what was a huge opportunity. But the magazine said the market is still far from reaching its potential.
Look at the figures. In the Philippines, per capita consumption each year is about 150 bottles of soft drink a year; in Thailand, it is 38 bottles. Even in comparable markets, such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it is 30 and 23 bottles respectively. And in India? Just five bottles a year.
Food Chain Asia points to a number of problems.
One is the proliferation of fake brands in places like Goa, Mumbai, and New Delhi. It is possible to start up such an operation for as little as US$100, and many large retailers will supply these operators with empty bottles; in return they get their "Coke" or "Pepsi" at prices far below buying the real thing.
Another problem-and this applies to most product lines-is that 80 percent of India's population lives in one of 500,000 villages, many with poor road connections. It is a very price-sensitive market, and the transport outlays can amount to 10 percent of the cost of carbonated drinks. Add to that the monsoon season that disrupts road transport in many parts of the country.
Another factor that applies to a far wider range of products than just soft drinks is that this is a country with vast regional differences and 18 major languages, and tastes are different. For example, Mumbai people like milk-based beverages, while in the south the preference is for very sweet drinks.
Soft drinks are still seen as a luxury. And state governments often levy taxes on them; in West Bengal, one of the more militantly left-wing states in India, the authorities have created a tax regime aimed at preventing Coca-Cola from expanding its operations.
All Material Subject to Copyright
Copyright 2001:. All Rights Reserved.


12May2001 INDIA: Beer sales soar during summer.

By Panchalee Thakur.
BANGALORE: As sweat trickles down your brow and your throat gets parched in the summer sun, you wish it would cool down. But you know the heat is here to stay for sometime. And for many a sure way of beating the heat is by gulping down some chilled beer.
Beer manufacturers, pub owners and beer retailers say it's that time of the year again when their sales figures touch the sky. The summer high started mid-April and is likely to continue till June-end. Chilled beer is the hot favourite in the summer months, followed by vodka. Except for loyal rum or whisky drinkers, not many go for hard drinks in summer. It's only when the monsoon starts that the spirit of a beer drinker dampens.
In all, Bangalore has 2,771 outlets where alcohol is being sold. Of these, 892 are retail outlets and the rest - 1,879 - are pubs, restaurants and hotels. In fact, silicon city contributes to 45 per cent of the total beer consumption in the state.
In any popular, crowded pub in the city on a Saturday night in summer, as many as eight to 12 kegs of tap beer is consumed. This is besides the amount of bottled beer consumed - anything between seven to 10 cases. One case contains 12 bottles of 330 or 750 ml each. All put together, on a single night in a popular bar, as much as 400-600 litres of beer is consumed. If you consider the number of bars and pubs that there are in the city, the figure would be astounding.
And don't forget the amount of beer consumed by people at their own houses. Any retail outlet in a busy area like Commercial Street or M G Road sells 30-50 bottles of beer on a hot summer day. Interior areas sell 10-15 bottles a day.
Pradeep Nair, branch manager, United Breweries, said, "In a summer month in Karnataka, the entire beer industry sells eight lakh cases. Of these, 45 per cent would be sold in Bangalore itself." He added that for beer manufacturers the seasonal sales upswing begins mid-April and continues till mid-June. It peaks in May.
Sushil S John, partner, Urban Edge, said he has been selling eight to 12 kegs of tap beer on Saturday nights now. He also sells some 10 cases of bottled beer. In a month he sells 160-200 kegs of tap beer.
"On Fridays we sell six to eight kegs of tap beer and some five cases of bottled beer. Thursdays we do three-four kegs and two-three cases. Surprisingly, Wednesdays is higher with some four kegs. Moreover, we do much better during the first fortnight of the month when people's pockets are heavier," John added.
Kulsum Nassur, partner, Mars 2211, said, "On a typical hot summer weekend, we do some 150-200 bottles of beer. This is one and a half times higher than the rest of the year."
(c) 2001 The Times of India Group.

11May2001 MALAYSIA: Italian food growing in popularity.

By Jothi Jeyasingam.
ITALIAN cuisine is gaining in popularity in this part of the world. A testament to this is the variety of Italian food available in local supermarkets. From instant pastas to the various sauces, the list is immense. Here are some sites to widen your taste experience.
* I Love Pasta
To date, the most comprehensive pasta network on the Net.
With so many sizes and shapes of pasta available, and so many great recipes, you can serve pasta every day for a year, and never make it the same way twice! Whether you want something elegant or casual, for two or 20, the site has it all.
Courtesy of the National Pasta Association, it is dedicated to providing good-tasting, convenient, accurate recipes that was professionally tested and tastes great!
* La Cucina Eoliana Siciliana
It should not be forgotten that Italian and Sicilian cuisine share similarities by virtue of its culture and people. Many favourite gourmet delights originated from the exotic isles off Sicily. This site gives you a fair idea of such origins.
Named for Aeolus, the Eolian archipelago is located off the northeast coast of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Called the Aeolian or Lipari Islands, it comprises Alicudi, Filicudi, Lipari, Panarea, Salina, and Stromboli, which are popular food names.
* Cucina Italiana Magazine
This is truly the site for thoroughbreds of Italian cuisine. From its food forums and Memory Pantry where new recipes are featured, to its glossary where A to Z, of over 150 Italian culinary terms are explained in depth, together with historic and regional references, you do not have to look any further.
It also features a guide to baking your own bread at home, and recipes to test your skills. By the time you have absorbed the wealth of information the site has to offer, you will be able to cook up an international gastronomic fair.
Asparagus, anyone? enjoy this original vegetable in elegant preparations and savoury snacks you would never have thought of before. Wonder just how much fish you can cook in a frying pan? Log on for more of these exquisite culinary wonders.
* Home Arts
If you think pasta means spaghetti and tomato sauce, this site shows you more - from tortellini and lasagna to egg noodles, spaetzle, pierogi, and Chinese dumplings. Even a report on the best cheese grater in town.
Ever wondered what is the best way to store pasta? A clear glass or plastic container on an open shelf or counter may look attractive, but it exposes pasta to light. To keep it fresh, store pasta in an opaque container or in the cupboard.
Dried pasta is made with semolina, a flour milled from durum wheat. Semolina is high in gluten, which gives it the strength to withstand the mechanical pasta-making process and hold its shape when cooked. Homemade isn't necessarily better but if you love pasta and have the time, it's fun to make it yourself. For the rest of the recipes, log on.
(c) 2001 New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad.


After Japan, Europe is arguably the world's most demanding food market. Not only are basic considerations like taste and price important, but a host of political and social issues have come into play. For example, European nations have taken some of the strongest stands in opposition to the consumption of genetically modified (GM) foods. Animal rights advocates have also managed to set livestock production standards that are prohibitively strict for many developing nations.
Even though some headway has been made in recent years, Europe still remains a relatively closed market to agricultural imports. Excessive agricultural subsidies and a host of restrictions make it difficult for producers of basic food crops in developing nations to gain a foothold in the market. A number of developing nations have rightfully accused European nations of using environmental and animal rights issues to erect barriers of disguised protectionism.
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Copyright 2001:. All Rights Reserved.


REUTERS Business Briefing , 15-5-2001

08May2001 INDIA: Juices threaten to take fizz out of aerated drinks.

P. T. Jyothi Datta

THE threat of imported fruit-based juices notwithstanding, this summer, carbonated soft drinks are having to contend with fruit-based thirst-quenchers taking a slice out of the total market of parched throats.
Retailers admit that consumers are increasingly reaching out for fruit-based drinks and non-carbonated soft drinks, sometimes even at the expense of a cola or any other brand of carbonated soft drink (CSD).
Though juices make up only five per cent of the estimated Rs 5,300-crore soft drink segment, choices in this category are plentiful. They include Real from Dabur, Tropicana from the Pepsi stable and Frooti, the much-hyped Digen Verma's chosen drink from Parle Agro. Also, in the non-CSD segment, there is Maaza from Coca Cola India (CCI) and Slice, from Pepsi Foods Ltd.
Dabur has seen a growth of between 35 and 40 per cent in its Real brand of fruit juices, a company official told Business Line. And while growth percentages of the sort are a tough act to follow, the juices category had seen similar growth last year too. Real, recently relaunched in a contemporary pack, currently exists in five flavours - orange, mango, pineapple, mixed fruit and tomato.
"Growth in the juices category has always been higher. Maaza, for instance, had seen a whopping growth of 70 per cent in 2000, over its comparative figure in the previous year," according to CCI's spokesperson. "And while the total soft drink segment grew at about eight per cent last year, Maaza grew at 14 per cent," he adds.
Similarly, while CCI saw a 12 per cent growth across its basket of thirst-quenchers in the first quarter, Maaza alone clocked a growth of 45 per cent, he said.
"Growth in the juices segment is not at the expense of the colas or other carbonated soft drinks. Though it is true that more people are going in for the fruit-based products, there is little cannibalisation taking place. It is just that the total market is expanding. A market like India, with per capita consumption as low as six bottles, offers a huge potential to expand," he adds. Quite understandably, Maaza plans to launch in two more flavours by the end of this month.
Retailers observe that consumers are increasingly taking to fruit-based drinks "because of a perceived image of them being good for health".
Not surprisingly, Tropicana has aggressively positioned itself on the health platform. However, it has had to contend with the price barrier of a 1-litre Tropicana vis-a-vis a CSD of similar capacity. The juice was recently launched in 200 ml cartons to make it more competitive on the price front, even as it grapples with the logistics of proper handling at the retail level. Despite this, Tropicana has shown satisfactory growth, company officials say.
Naturally, Tropicana Beverages Co. plans to add more to its existing portfolio comprising orange, apple, sweet orange, pineapple and grape. Two new flavours, tomato and mixed fruit, are slated for launch later this year.
(c) The Hindu Business Line.

Indonesia: Food Processing and Packaging Industry

Malaysia: Food Processing and Packaging Industry

Singapore: Food Market Reports

Philippines: Food Market Reports

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