Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Coca-Cola enters water fray

Coca-Cola enters water fray

Coca-Cola enters water fray

biz_water_philong
Bottles of Dasani water are manufactured at the Cambodia Beverage Company Ltd factory, in Russey Keo district, Phnom Penh, today. Coca-Cola aims to make it the market leader in Cambodia.

Coca-Cola has waded into Cambodia’s bottled water market with international brand Dasani, aiming to become market leader in the crowded sector.

The global giant has launched a production line capable of making 10,000 bottles of water every hour at Cambodia Beverage Company’s factory in Russey Keo district in Phnom Penh, officials said today.

Country Commercial Manager Adrian Wenhlowskyj said the company was targeting the mid- to high-level consumer market, with an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 cases being distributed nationwide each month after a soft launch at the end of 2010.

“We are confident it will be [the market leader]. We will work very hard to achieve that,” he said.

That view was reiterated by General Manager of Coca-Cola Indochina Martin Gil, who said the retail price for a 500 millilitre bottle would be 1,000 riel.
Speaking over the din of bottles being pressed and filled, following the treatment of municipal water with ozone, reverse osmosis and UV, he said: “Our vision is to be market leader in every category.”

The move to launch a water brand in Cambodia, which Coca-Cola entered in 1993, comes amid rising demand for products which include Fanta and Sprite.

Serving sales increased by 25 percent in 2010 over 2009, with revenues hitting about $40 million to $50 million and income rising about 30 percent last year, according to the firm’s Country Manager Paul Popelier.

The company paid about $4 million in tax last year, he added.

Popelier believes the company has room to grow nationally after benefiting from $27 million in company investment over the last few years, hinting that more de-carbonated products stand in the pipeline for Cambodia.

“In Cambodia, the firm provides around 15 serving per capita per year, compared to 80 and 90 servings in Thailand and Indonesia,” he said.

Today, Dasani’s potential competitors shrugged off concerns over the entrant to the water market.

Chea Mean, marketing manager of EUROTECH Import Export Company Limited, which sells 500ml bottles at the same price as Dasani, welcomed the launch.

“The more companies that come the better. I think that if we have a lot of popular brand names from foreign countries come in our country it will build confidence for foreign investors that Cambodia has stabilised,” Mean said.

Sang Sotheavy, vice director of Oral Quality Drinking Water, said that it hoped the new brand would be produced at a high quality, adding that its products were selling “very well” despite increased competition.

It has not always been smooth sailing for the Dasani brand, which also recently launched in Vietnam.

In 2004, it was embroiled in controversy when all Dasani bottles were pulled from UK shelves because they had been contaminated with bromate, a cancer-causing chemical.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American