Thailand's Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) is advising Thai businesses to invest in coffee and milk tea products in Cambodia, as it already has more than 800 coffee shops nationwide and is showing good potential for more.
DITP director-general Somdet Susomboon said: “Coffee and bubble tea are a big hit in Cambodia with more than 300 shops in Phnom Penh and 500 in other provinces.
“Thai brands like Amazon, Black Canyon, True Coffee, Inthanin, Arabitia, Doi Chang, Doi Lor and Chao Doi have become very popular, with Thai coffee shops holding more than 45 per cent market share in Cambodia. Amazon is the biggest player after having opened 140 branches nationwide.”
Founded in 2002, Cafe Amazon is a chain of coffeehouses owned by Thai-listed State-owned energy giant PTT Pcl, which has operated in Cambodia since August 3, 2000 through PTT (Cambodia) Ltd. PTT petrol stations are often accompanied with a Cafe Amazon outlet.
PTT Cambodia managing director Suthon Choothian previously told The Post that the first Cafe Amazon outlet opened in Cambodia in 2013, with PTT Cambodia becoming the franchiser of Cafe Amazon in the Kingdom after it was granted a master franchise in 2016.
Somdet said foreign companies are also eyeing the Cambodian market, with Starbucks opening its 20th branch in the country.
“Local brands like Brown Coffee are also strong players, making Cambodia a promising market with the potential of high competition in the future,” he added.
DITP Cambodian Office director Jirawut Suwanart said entrepreneurs wanting to set up coffee shops or bubble milk-tea businesses in Cambodia can contact the office for details on documentation and regulations.
“Thai businesses can enter the market in three ways – opening and managing the shop with 100-per cent-ownership, which is suitable for well-established brands; co-investing with a local investor, which is suitable for expanding into rural areas as the insight of locals will help secure the market; and the third is to sell franchise licence to locals.
“The last option is the cheapest with low financial risks, though brand owners must ensure that franchisees maintain the product’s quality or they risk injuring the brand image,” Jirawut said.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK