The Myanmar Times
Saturday, 19 April 2014
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Multinationals aim for sweet success in Myanmar

A shop stocked with candy in downtown Yangon January 11, 2013. (Boothee/ The Myanmar Times)A shop stocked with candy in downtown Yangon January 11, 2013. (Boothee/ The Myanmar Times)

Multinational confectionary companies are looking to satisfy Myanmar’s sweet tooth as retail growth rates in developing countries are forecast to greatly outpace developed markets.

The Dutch-Italian merger Perfetti Van Melle announced on November 20 that it would enter Myanmar with the help of market expansion services group DKSH.

“We are very proud to be working with Perfetti Van Melle in bringing their renowned brands at affordable price to the people in Myanmar,” Preman Mahaldayuan, general manager of Business Unit Consumer Goods at DKSH Myanmar, said in a statement issued by DKSH at the time.

Perfetti Van Melle was formed in March 2001 through a merger of Van Melle of the Netherlands and Prefetti of Italy. In 2006 the company acquired the Spanish lollipop brand Chupa Chups and the Smint line of mint flavoured candies. This addition made the company the world’s third largest confectionary group.

Along with Chupa Chups and Smint Prefetti, Perfetti Van Melle produces and distributes recognisable products such as Airheads taffy and the Fruittella line of chewy candies.

Luca Parodi, executive vice president of Perfetti Van Melle Asia Pacific, told The Myanmar Times on January 8 that the company’s products have been available in shops in major cities throughout Myanmar since late December 2012. He said that he was pleased with the initial results.

“At this stage we have launched a very limited number of brands and stock keeping units. We want to get a better understanding of the market first before proceeding in planning a wider assortment,” Mr Parodi said.

Perfetti Van Melle has a nearly 30 percent market share in neighbouring India and subsidiaries operating in both Vietnam and the Philippines.

“There is definitely a focus on ASEAN but with different approaches and strategies in the various markets. From a manufacturing point of view obviously we look at ASEAN as a whole, having clear benefits in sourcing from plants located in this area,” Mr Parodi said.