The restaurant and fast food industry in Thailand is becoming increasingly competitive. With changing consumer lifestyles and food preferences, many new food chains have entered the market over the years. Although the growth of retail space drives a continuous expansion of restaurants, many brands struggle to grow due to intensifying competition.
Based on monthly surveys of claimed customer usage throughout 2018, five brands emerged as “top” performers among more than 70 fast and casual dining chain restaurants in Thailand. The top performing brands were Dairy Queen, KFC, Starbucks, After You and Café Amazon.
The data was collected by Food Tracker and MarketBuzzz, who do the largest monthly consumer survey in the Thai restaurant industry.
No.1: Dairy Queen
Despite slow growth during the first half of 2018, Dairy Queen’s user base increased steadily month-on-month during the second half of the year and ended with 15% more customers in December than in the beginning of the year. As a result, the ice cream kiosk brand with more than 500 outlets in Thailand had the fastest growth of brands.
Like Dairy Queen, KFC started the 2018 slowly but achieved strong growth during the second half of 2018. KFC’s user base jumped up by about 5% in July and continued at that level until the end of the year.
Bernard Cheng, Director of Marketing for KFC Thailand noted that “KFC experienced strong growth in 2018 especially during the last six months of the year as we focused on making KFC more accessible. We opened a record number of new stores, gave our customers innovative new products and broadened our user base through strong value promotions.”
In 2018, Starbucks had the third fastest growth of all brands in the market. It has been easy to see the continuous expansion of Starbucks cafés across the country.
Maarten Kallenberg from Food Tracker noted that “Starbucks is loved by many and unlike most other brands in the industry, it relies more on the strength of its brand than on promotions to attract consumers. The rapid expansion of outlets has helped Starbucks to increase its user base.”
No.4: After You
As a relatively young brand among the top 5, After You’s user base is strongly driven by the opening of stores and a trending reputation. By the end of September, After You had opened 4 new stores, which increased its number of outlets by 15%.
Mr. Kallenberg noted that “for a brand that is still relatively small, After You has remarkable high brand awareness and seems to have high potential for further growth in 2019.”
No.5: Café Amazon
The PTT-owned brand keeps adding new locations to its network of more than 2,000 coffee shops, which drives further growth in the face of intensifying competition from other coffee shop chains, convenience stores and independent coffee outlets. In the Food Tracker survey, consumers continuously identify Café Amazon as a very popular brand, topping some large international fast food brands that spend much more on advertising