Kiwi launch new women's products

8 June 2006

Sara Lee (Thailand) Ltd, distributors of Kiwi shoe-care products, is launching three new women's products to increase the proportion of their female customers to 10% from less than 1% now. General manager Chooi Khim Tan said about 80% of Kiwi customers were men and almost 20% were school children. Shoe-care products for work footwear had grown significantly, as more and more Thai women worked in offices, Ms Chooi.said. Neutral-coloured Kiwi Express had proved popular among women, she said. Next year, Sara Lee plan to launch three new products targeting the female segment with a promotional campaign called 'Smiling Feet''. Kiwi shoe-care products contributed 160 million bath of revenue to Sara Lee (Thailand) last year, accounting for 15% of their total revenue. According to Ms Chooi, besides Kiwi shoe care, three other key brands for Sara Lee were Moccona coffee, Ambi Pur air-care products and Kiwi Clean. Moccona contributed the highest proportion of revenue at 60%, followed by Kiwi Clean and Kiwi shoe care at 15% each and Ambi Pur at 10%. Ms Chooi said Thailand's shoe-care market was worth about 200 million baht, of which Kiwi controls 80%. Market growth is between 1% and 2% per year. Paranee Cherdvisavaphan, marketing director, said the popularity of Kiwi paste had fallen recently. 'I think people are looking for products that are more convenient. Many are switching to liquid products that are easier to use', she said. The proportion of Kiwi paste sales has dropped to 50% from 60% last year, while the proportion of liquid products rose to more than 30% from 20%. Kiwi plans to introduce more non-paste products into the market, including liquid, self-shine, in-sole, and shoe-deodorant products. But market penetration could be a problem, as the prices of non-paste products were more expensive than paste products. Sara Lee will run new Kiwi paste promotional campaigns in schools to help boost sales, and plan a 250-million-baht marketing budget this year, as well as a 10-million-baht budget to celebrate Kiwi's 100th anniversary. Sara Lee have also launched an educational programme to teach school children how to take care of their shoes. The company also plan to give away a one-year's supply of Kiwi products to 100 cobblers in Bangkok to increase brand visibility and distribution channels. Ms Paranee said that the company would assess the progress of the programmes before deciding whether to expand this campaign to other parts of the country. To celebrate Kiwi's 100th anniversary, Sara Lee have donated 100 pairs of school shoes each to 100 schools nationwide and asked for donations of shoes for needy people in rural communities. Selected schools in Bangkok will have shoe donation boxes. The shoes will be repaired by Kiwi cobblers before they are given away to needy people.

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