Japan’s Calbee has introduced a potato chip product about 70% cheaper than what’s already on sale in the Philippines.
The chips will be sold at sari-sari stores, very small mom-and-pop shops that deal in a variety of daily products, a company source said.
The new strategy is to focus on middle-income consumers. The snack maker has set a sales target of 4 billion yen ($34.8 million) in the year ending March 2021, up an ambitious sevenfold from fiscal 2015.
Since it entered the Philippines in 2014, Calbee has targeted its snacks mostly at high-income earners. But it is refocusing on the country’s expanding medium-income bracket.
With the Philippines achieving economic growth rates of around 6% in recent years, consumer purchasing power has increased — and the snack market along with it.
Tokyo research company Fuji Keizai expects the country’s snack food market to grow to 16.3 billion pesos ($328 million) in 2017, up 19% from 2013.
Calbee’s new strategy for the Southeast Asian country comes as the company, whose growth at home has slowed, is shifting its overall focus overseas. It is also targeting the U.S. and South Korea.
In recent years, Calbee has been particularly aggressive in Southeast Asia, where growing populations and economies are expected to boost confectionery markets.
The cheaper potato chips have gone on sale at several thousand sari-sari stores on the islands of Cebu and Luzon. The plan is to raise the figure to 10,000 as early as possible and to eventually blanket the entire archipelago, the source said.
Source and image: Nikkei, Calbee