CPRAM Company Limited.
When Charoen Phokphand Group joined modern trade retailer and food service business in domestic market such as Makro, 7-Eleven, Sunny Supermarket and Chester Foods, the company has established food production unit to support many relating businesses. This was how C.P. Retailing and Marketing Co., Ltd. was established to support the retailer business expansion in Thailand in which frozen ready to eat food business was set up on 12th December 1988 and bakery business set up on 1st April 1989 at Meenburi District, Bangkok. Besides production of breads, cakes, cookies for deliver to retailer and food services business within Charoen Pokphand Group, the company also opened bakery shop called “Bakerich” on Silom Road opposite C.P. Tower and in Sunny Supermarket on Srinakarin Road branch as well.
In the beginning, C.P. Retailing and Marketing Co., Ltd. started off with frozen processed vegetables and fruits for export by cutting the fruits, packed and froze in clean and attractive packaging that consumers could eat immediately.
Due to wide vision and experienced human resource within Charoen Pokphand Group together with the knowledge of external experts, C.P. Retailing and Marketing started to expand. On the day at 7-Eleven was set up, C.P. Retailing and Marketing was also established together with freshly baked bakery products which were suitable for launch in convenience stores which responded well with customers that want ready to eat food that are filling without the need to cook or reheat.
In this era, C.P. Retailing and Marketing Co., Ltd. had separated the products into two main categories which were the frozen fruits group and freshly baked bakery products that could be consumed immediately. Later on, the company found out that the frozen fruits business might not be suitable since the consumers had more options to eat fresh fruits so the company had developed new products which were the starting of siu mai and frozen steamed buns.
When 7-Eleven had opened about 10 branches, C.P. Retailing and Marketing started to sell siu mai and steamed buns. The beginning of this idea happened when 7-Eleven marketing and product management team visited Taiwan for business trip then the company had an idea to start producing these products. Siumai and steamed buns were the first products that C.P. Retailing and Marketing had developed together with 7-Eleven with the concept that the products must suitable for Thai people’ lifestyle since it was easy to eat. After finished freezing process, the products are distributed into 7-Eleven branches, the stores will thaw the products and arrange for display in hot steamer which was the starting of classic sentence when the customer enter into 7-Eleven that “Would you like additional siu mai or steamed buns?”
Regarding the bakery products, at first the products that were produced to deliver to 7-Eleven beginning from the 1st store was homemade bakery style which was similar to premium bakery store but were packed and sell through modern trade retailer. The products had about 3-4 days shelf life. C.P. Retailing and Marketing was considered to be the leader for this type of business because at that time most of the bakery products were mass product from factory while homemade products would only be sold in the stores with service staffs.
Even though in the beginning, C.P. Retailing and Marketing had a strong sales channel but the company was losing money because the factory was well set up with modern equipment, using quality ingredients which resulted in high expenses and cost of good. Other than this, the factory was hiring skilled staffs in order to produce appealing products rather than using machine and the modern trade retailers were still limited in number. C.P. Retailing and Marketing management had to work very hard to focus the main business in production and distribution of ready to eat food business. At the time, the company also closed down Bakerich store on Silom Road due to high rental cost.