SEOUL – South Korea’s leading dairy company Namyang has opened a giant coffee mix factory in Naju, South Jeolla Province, posing a big challenge to domestic market leader Dongsuh Food and potential rivals in China, Russia and Japan. The completion ceremony was held on Sunday with CEO Kim Woong and other executives in attendance.
The new plant was built in a 101,000-square-meter site and is considered the biggest coffee mix plant ever built in Korea.
Completed in two years after breaking ground in 2011, the plant is capable of producing 7,200 tons of freeze-dried coffee, equivalent to 5 billion packs of coffee mix.
All the investment fund of 200 billion won came from the company’s retained earnings.
With the new plant, Namyang Dairy set an ambitious goal of taking more than a 50-percent share within three years.
Currently the company’s share in coffee mix is a little more than 10 percent. But it aims to increase it at the expense of the present market leader Dongsuh Food that accounts for an 80-percent share with its brand Maxim.
Other smaller brands claiming the remaining 20 percent include Nestle (Nescafe) and LotteChilsung (Cantata), as well as Namyang Dairy (French Cafe).
“We will triple our coffee mix market share by 2016 to 50 percent. In overseas markets we will reach the goal of 100 billion won in sales by the same year.” Namyang Dairy Products president Kim Yong has said in an interview, adding, “Beginning with the fully automated 200-billion-won plant, we will make the coffee mix business as the next growth engine.”
In Korea, instant coffee usually comes pre-mixed with non-dairy creamer and sugar and is called “coffee mix.”