THAI: Our Bread Is Tasty And Cheap

“Gate
Gourmet told us the taste of our bread is good, the texture is right and
overall quality is up to the high European standards,” said Odd Gunnar
Engebretsen, the catering service specialist at THAI.
    The Norwegian
executive, who is marketing THAI’s bread and food overseas, said THAI’s rolls
served as a good substitute to the bread Gate Gourmet Japan previously sourced from Germany and Poland and from local Japanese
bakery houses.
    THAI’s
shipments offer a 10-20% cost saving for Gate Gourmet Japan compared to the cost if they were to be
sourced from Europe, and up to 50% for
Japanese-made offerings.
    “Bread
[making] culture is not there in Japan,” noted Mr Engebretsen,
a veteran of the airline catering business. “Thais are better at this
area.”
    Mr
Engebretsen is now pursuing more contracts with at least five other airline
catering firms in Asia; namely, Gate Gourmet Hong Kong, LSG Sky Chefs
subsidiaries in Hong Kong and South Korea, Cosmo Japan, and Evergreen Sky Catering
in Taiwan. LSG Sky Chefs is part of the German airline Lufthansa AG.
    Chumpot
Mintarkhin, a director at THAI’s Catering Department, said Gate Gourmet Japan was
pleased with the initial three shipments of THAI’s frozen rolls, numbering more
than 600,000, and indicated a possibility of ramping up a volume purchase.
    THAI is
also working to market its bakery products for general Japanese consumers
through wholesalers under bulk sales, Mr Engebretsen added.
    Mr
Engebretsen said the exports of THAI’s bread could potentially reach seven
million pieces this year, valued at some 20 million baht.
    The export
drive is contributing to THAI’s bid to revitalise its extensive catering
facility at Don Mueang whose works have substantially reduced following the
opening of the airline’s new 3.68-billion-baht facility, which can produce
87,000 meals per day, at Suvarnabhumi
Airport
in September
2006.
    Opened
after the airport shift, Bakery House, the airline’s bakery facility at Don
Mueang, which covers a total area of 14,500 square metres, is underutilised.
Bakery House now produces nearly three million pieces a month, compared to its
monthly capacity of six million.
    Part of
Bakery House’s production is sent to THAI’s Suvarnabhumi catering facility, for
uplifting at Don Mueang airport, which serves limited domestic flights, and to
THAI’s own 28 Puff & Pie retail kiosks, 29 wholesalers and airport lounges
of THAI and other airlines.

 


 


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