Home Dairy Cheese Which Southeast Asian country has the cheapest Bega Slice Cheese?

Which Southeast Asian country has the cheapest Bega Slice Cheese?

Which country in the four leading ASEAN countries – Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines – has the cheapest Bega slice cheese?

The answer is Malaysia.

Thailand store check: Tesco online (1 Jan 2015), Philippines Robinson Galleria supermarket (8 October 2014), Australia’s Woolsworth Supermarket online (1 Jan 2015), Indonesia’s Hypermart (10 December 2014), Malaysia’s Giant Supermarket (25 December 2014)

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.

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
For companies looking at tapping the ASEAN market, opportunities exist for the lower-end slice cheese segment in Indonesia and the Philippines where the consumption of sliced cheese is still low but it does not mean they should neglect the high-end market. The Brookfarm fresh milk example shows there is a market for high-end fresh milk in Indonesia.
For Malaysia and Thailand, consumers are receptive to new sliced cheese products and this opens the door for low to high end products especially cheese catering for specific markets including children where Emborg is doing particularly well in Malaysia through social media marketing.

All photos (except Bega and Eru) and data are copyright of the author.


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