Winyoo Chaiyakul, CEO of Sino-Thai Freeze & Dry Company Ltd, explains how he has added value to Thai fruit and vegetables, as well as his views on the future of Thailand’s processed food industry.

Could you tell us something about your company?

Sino-Thai Freeze & Dry is part of the CT Group, a group of companies which has worked in the processed and frozen fruit and vegetable business for more than 30 years. At present, our products are divided into two types – frozen, and freeze & dry. These products are sold both in Thailand and abroad under the company’s six brands, namely Sino-Thai Freeze & Dry, A Fruit, Premium A Fruit, Fresh Dee, Tasty Pure and Kids Nack.

How do you see the potential of the Thai fruit and vegetables industry?

Fruit and vegetables in Thailand can create benefits for both farmers and businesses. They can help increase value and be a sustainable business, equivalent to Thai food which is well known in world markets.

How does Sino-Thai Freeze & Dry stand out from your competitors?

Our outstanding products are the innovative ones, such as having more than one type of fruit and vegetable mixed in one bite, such as freeze dried longan filled with durian, freeze dried mango with cashew nut, or frozen durian stick with coconut milk.

Who are your key customers?

Our main business is exports, but we still need a greater market share in Thailand as well. Our domestic market now is mostly foreign tourists who come to visit Thailand, especially Chinese and Japanese tourists who prefer the attractions in Bangkok. Another domestic market is health-conscious consumers. Our products are positioned in the healthy snack category, which we now sell in standalone and health shops, both in Bangkok and its vicinity, in more than 50 shops. Another category is products for children, which come in lovely packaging to attract them. We provide them in more than 10 public spaces and playgrounds, including 13 international schools in Bangkok.

How do you view Thailand’s food processing industry in the world market?

There are opportunities open for Thai fruit and vegetables in the world market, especially tropical fruit. But if we emphasize more that our products are Thai fruit rather than just tropical fruit, we will attract more customers with our unique flavours and qualities. If we put more attention on GI (Geographical Indications) and branding, these things will add value to Thai fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, the government should continue supporting the industry.

What are your future plans?

We will try to create innovations related to the use of fruit and vegetables, including Thai herbs. We want to push healthy snacks made from Thai fruit and vegetables to be equivalent to Lays, so that every household buys or even stocks them at home in some way. Because nowadays there is a growing concern about health worldwide. They can eat this healthy snack anywhere and anytime.

Words by Natthinee Ratanaprasidhi