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Thailand's alcohol industry needs to act quickly in light of a severe slump, according to a research centre in the country. The Kasikom Research Centre (KRC) has suggested that companies look at using marketing and pricing strategies to reverse poor sales over recent months.

The rising price of fuel, coupled with severe drought conditions in the country, has hit the industry hard, with consumer purchasing power being hit as unnecessary purchases are being avoided, the KRC noted. The domestic alcohol industry will face a marketing crisis this year, the KRC added, citing sales of liquor and beer dropping by 1.8% in the first quarter of this year, against a rise of 5.4% in the first three months of 2004 against the corresponding period a year earlier.

The report added that exports were also suffering, with sales abroad falling by 17% year-on-year in the first two months of 2005 to US$15.5m. Wine exports alone bucked the trend, however, as government promotion saw sales rise by 130.7% in the period.

The report suggests that alcohol companies in the country adjust their marketing strategies in response to the current economic climate, while setting their prices as low as possible to appeal to low-income consumers.


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