Wed, Jun 29, 2016 - Page 13 News List

I-Mei tops consumer goods brand list

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

I-Mei Foods Co (義美食品) last year ranked as Taiwan’s No. 1 indigenous fast-moving consumer goods brand for the second consecutive year, an annual study by consumer behavior research firm Kantar Worldpanel showed yesterday.

“I-Mei’s commitment to upholding product quality has earned it the trust of local households throughout successive food safety scandals in recent years, leading to its top ranking,” Kantar general manager Yvonne Wang (王曉娟) told a news conference.

I-Mei’s consumer reach points (CRP) — a measure of a brand’s penetration and the number of times shoppers purchase the brand’s products — last year rose 26 percent annually to 56 million, topping its peers, with brand penetration reaching 84 percent and purchasing frequency averaging 8.1, Kantar’s findings showed.

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業) — the nation’s largest food manufacturer, which lost its top ranking in the Kantar study at the end of 2013 — saw its ranking fall from third in 2014 to fifth last year, the study showed.

Uni-President’s CRP fell 25 percent annually to 27 million, with penetration and purchasing frequency gauged at 70 percent and 4.7 respectively, according to Kantar data.

However, while 7-Eleven — the nation’s largest convenience store chain, which is operated by a Uni-President affiliate — has numerous in-house brands, they are not considered household products and were not included in the study, Wang said.

Wang said 7-Eleven’s 7-Select brand ranked about 30th, which was comparable with hypermarket chain Costco Wholesale Corp’s Kirkland brand.

Dairy and milk producers Kuang-chuan Co (光泉食品) and Fresh Delight Taiwan (福樂鮮乳) ranked second and third, with each posting a 22 percent increase in CRP to 51 million and 29 million respectively, the report showed.

“Companies, in particular food manufacturers, should not blindly prioritize growth in Taiwan’s limited domestic market,” said I-Mei general manager Kao Chih-ming (高志明), who also urged the industry to work toward elevating quality and safety standards.

“We do not base our decisions to enter new market segments based solely on our ability to offer a lower price,” Kao said.

“We only launch new products when we have identified weaknesses among offerings by competing brands,” he added.

The study also showed that FamilyMart Collection, an in-house brand developed by the nation’s No. 2 convenience store chain, Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店), registered a rapid 92 percent annual jump in CRP to 3.7 million.

“Sales growth and contribution have been in line with our expectations since the introduction of FamilyMart Collection from Japan in 2012,” said Huang Chun-i (黃君毅), director of Taiwan FamilyMart’s products department, who declined to provide further details on sales contribution from the brand.

“In addition to popular imports from Japan, we have been working closely with our parent company to develop products for Taiwan, such as bottled fruit juices and teas,” Huang said, adding that some of the products might be introduced into the Japanese market.

He said Taiwan FamilyMart’s expansion plans this year are focused on opening larger footprint stores with dining areas, instead of more smaller ones.

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