Thailand is in a boom phase, evident from the numerous construction projects visible not only in its
capital city of Bangkok, but also dotting
its countryside. And to help the Southeast
Asian country transition into its new world
status, the Thailand Board of Investment
(BOI) is busy rolling out investment
packages in a number of industries.
“To move Thailand forward, we have
identified ten industries that we are
targeting,” said BOI Deputy Secretary
General Chokedee Kaewsang.
One of those targeted industries is the
food manufacturing sector. BOI is seeking
local and foreign investors and offering
tax and non-tax incentives to companies
that could further develop Thailand’s food
industry. “The food industry has been
developed and promoted for many years,
but we want to develop the food for the
future,” said Kaewsang.
The strategy is part of the plan for
Thailand 4.0 — the name of the country’s
broader investment into an innovation-
driven economy. The concept echoes the
digital transformation happening in other
parts of the world.
For the food industry, Thailand has set
a goal of moving from the No. 14 food
exporter in the world to No. 10. To do this,
the National Food Institute (NFI), part of
Thailand’s Ministry of Industry, has set
in motion a 20-year plan to promote the
nation’s food industry.
“We have identified three new food
segments: future food, convenient food and
commodities,” said Yongvut Saovapruk,
president of the NFI.
With a focus on increasing productivity
and innovation, the country is eager to
attract new food producers, in addition to
helping the existing food companies that
drive Thailand’s food industry.
Here is a closer look at several food
companies already active in Thailand’s food
Thai Union is a 41-year-old company
that started out as a canned tuna processor.
The company is still primarily just that, but
it also managed to buy some of the biggest
canned tuna brands in the world, such as
Chicken of the Sea in 2006 and King Oscar
However, the company is fully aware that
canned tuna has something of an image
problem. Mainly, it’s seen by the typical
millennial consumer as a food item for an
older generation. A lot of that has to do with
a lack of innovation in the tuna processing
industry. “The processing of canned tuna,
much of it is the same as it was 40 years
ago,” said Tunyawat Kasemsuwan, director
of global innovation for Thai Union.
In 2015, the company established the
Global Innovation Incubator (GII), located in
Bangkok, to connect with the consumer
and be the most trusted seafood leader.
The GII was created in a partnership with
An inside look at some of the country’s top food processors, including Cargill
Meats Thailand, Jelly Belly, CP Thai Rice Company and more.
By Debra Schug
A Taste Of Thailand