Pepsi will no longer sell their drink in a glass bottle Thailand
Can't find a Pepsi bottle anywhere in Thailand? Well your not alone, since the beginning of November the favourite cola drink for many people has disappeared and replaced with a Thai Rip-off called EST. Now EST doesn't taste anything like Pepsi in fact I'm pretty sure they are missing a few ingredients and it doesn't bubble and fizz like a Pepsi does.
In true Thai style and Thai business practice the Thai bottler for Pepsi SermSuk divorced the cola giant and put out this fake Pepsi crap EST which no one likes even Thai's don't want to drink it. Problem for Pepsi is Serm Suk weren't just bottling the drink for them they were also distributing it as well. So now Pepsi has no one to bottle the drink and no one to ship it out in fact if you go to the PepsiThai.com website it's offline meanwhile their facebook page with other 1 million likes is still going, Thai's love this drink.
Does that mean Pepsi is out of action? Not in the slightest. They have decided to go it alone and do it all themselves. Leading the charge is Dr Surakiart who will now be chairman of Pepsi Co Thailand. Surakiart is probably the smartest business man in the entire country and is going to have Pepsi on the shelves very shortly but they have a massive challenge changing the minds of Thai people to their new production efforts.
Pepsi is just completing the construction of it's new Rayong plant a whopping 5.2 billion baht investment and also the largest Pepsi production facility in the world, eat that EST!
There are a lot of rumours going around that SermSuk company were getting greedy and asking for too much money for the bottling and distribution of Pepsi in Thailand and whether or not that is true they arn't going to come out and say that. And it probably is true but isn't it a little too co-incidental that the day after they stop making pepsi that put out this EST crap. Before you cry concpirorsy however, Pepsi actually owns 41% of Serm Suk who's business is so much more than Pepsi I wonder if Pepsi will slowly sell it's shares in Serm Suk, thoughts anyone?
Pepsi is teaming up with DHL to distribute it's drinks which i'm sure makes sense to them but it's going to take them a long time to get that channel up and running. EST may end up sitting right next to Pepsi in the fridge at 7 eleven but my guess is Thai's will still be going for the Pepsi.
So this new bottling facility they have built in Rayong only makes cans and plastic bottles and will NOT produce glass bottles which they claim are on the decline. But hang on the only time I drink Pepsi is when I'm at KFC or at a night club. Can you imagine them bringing out your mixers in plastic bottles? And what about mom and pop stores? They used to be able to collect them bottles and return them for cash actually some where so anal about it if I bought a bottle and wanted to take it with me they wouldn't let me, they'd be like we own the bottle you only buy the drink! WTF I bought it it's mine! Whatever. Even if it works out that they make more money buying a plastic bottle they'll still want the glass bottles because Thai's like collecting 1000's of bottles so they can change them for 100 baht. Ridiculous.
So while Pepsi is absent right now waiting for their production facility to complete and their new distribution channels figured out their biggest hurdle in my mind is going to be changing the minds of Thai people to switch from glass bottles to aluminium cans. But right now I don't see any club that will even think about putting a plastic bottle mixer on peoples tables.