Processed and packaged foods is one of Thailand’s top ten exports. Canned fish is one large category, frozen food another, beer and then coconut milk.

Coconut milk market has surged as consumers seek non-dairy alternatives, then there is the cooking-at-home boom, surging in the pandemic as we all become more adventurous in the kitchen.

CAGR in ethnic foods is projected to exceed 10% for the next five years, curry and spice brands are particularly in vogue. I have been busy working with one through the pandemic.

Fancy a Thai curry? Adding coconut milk is recommended!

Thailand’s exports of coconut milk exceeded $300million in 2019 and the country accounts for over 30% of the global market. The biggest export market is the US.

Two Thai companies are prospering mightily on the boom. One is Theppadungporn Coconut who market the Chaokoh brand, exporting 80% of $224m in revenue. The CEO has his eye on growing share in Europe which today accounts for around 15% of volume.

For example, in the UK there are estimated to be over 2000 Thai restaurants, and most supermarkets on and off line sell an expanding range of ethnic foods.

Thai Agri Foods is larger, with revenue close to $350m, markets Aroy-D. It’s available in over 70 countries.

Last year several international retailers including Walmart delisted some coconut milks over concerns that monkeys were used to harvest the coconuts. The manufacturers quickly responded with audits to show this process has been stopped.

Besides this, I can find little evidence that Chaokoh or Aroy-D are making a concerted effort to promote either their own brands or coconut milk category.

I wonder if other larger food companies are watching this space and working on more value added offerings?