Which country in the four leading ASEAN countries – Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines – has the cheapest Bega slice cheese?
The answer is Malaysia.
In Malaysia, each pack of 250g Bega Super Slim costs only AUD 12.56 per kilogram, which is even cheaper than Australia, which retails at AUD 16.6 per kilogram at Woolworths Supermarket (online).
Malaysia and Singapore are the most important markets for Australian cheese in Southeast Asia in 2013/14, according to Dairy Australia. Japan remained Australia’s most important market for cheese in 2013/14 taking up nearly 50% of exports, followed by Greater China, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
|Slice cheese price range – Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Thailand data from Tesco online, Malaysia from Tesco, Aeon Big and Giant, Philippines from Robinsons and Indonesia from Hypermart|
The price of Bega in the four different ASEAN markets reflects the different levels of development of the cheese market. Sliced cheese is relatively more expensive in Thailand compared to Malaysia across the board but in the Philippines and Indonesia, the price gap between the most expensive and the cheapest is the widest. Moreover, the choices of slice cheese in the Philippines and Indonesia are the smallest as consumers prefer to buy processed cheese in block that can be kept at room temperature. This consumer choice is different compared to Thailand and Malaysia where consumers tend to go for the more expensive sliced cheese option.
The latest new product launches in Indonesia and the Philippines are mainly concentrated on the lower end of the market. The focus on the mass market shows manufacturers want to make sliced cheese more accessible to a broader market. Examples of these new launches include Indonesia’s Prochiz in the Philippines and Kraft’s new mass market brand Dairylea Qeju.
|Prochiz in the Philippines|
In Malaysia, companies have the flexibility to introduce sliced cheese ranging from mass market to high-end since Malaysian consumers are already accustomed to consuming sliced cheese. Examples of the new launches include Eru and the latest private label Southdale Farm cheese distributed by Dairy Farm International, the operator of Giant and Cold Storage supermarkets.
|High-end Eru cheese|
|Southdale Farm private label cheese|
All photos (except Bega and Eru) and data are copyright of the author.