Surapon Foods invests in new frozen sushi production lines

Company is diversifying its business to offset unstable supply of Thai shrimp.

Thailand-listed Surapon Foods's new sushi production lines will be up and running this year, part of the group's continued expansion into the value-added sphere, Auhtaphon Ratana-Arporn, assistant managing director of marketing at the group, told IntraFish.

In February, the group approved an investment of THB 220 million (€5.7 million/$6.5 million) to upgrade its chicken and seafood production lines.

“This investment was part of a lot of changes that are happening at the company, it was used in different operations,” Ratana-Arporn said.

“The company's CEO is completely changing the structure."

At the beginning of the year, the group’s former CEO Surapon Wongwattanaroj was appointed executive chairman, while his son, Sorapol Wongwattanaroj, took over the chief executive role.

With Wongwattanaroj at the helm, Surapon is diversifying its business, and is introducing a new brand, Surapon Supreme Foods (SUP), for chicken and sushi products. 

"The production plant of frozen sushi and frozen chicken will be new, and it'll be running this year as SUP," Ratana-Arporn said.

Ratana-Arporn declined to disclose the capacity of the plant, but said frozen sushi production will be mainly destined to the EU market.

“That’s where there’s more interest for this product, but if we see opportunities somewhere else we’ll also look into other markets," he said.

The company is also renovating the facilities of another subsidiary, Surapon Foods, which is mainly dedicated to the production of ready-to-eat foods such as frozen dim sum and finger foods.

The group mainly uses Thai shrimp in its products, but the shortage of raw material caused by the Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) had the group turn its focus to other proteins for a time.

“We saw chicken was a safe bet,” he said.

“At the moment, we’re looking at Thai [shrimp] production and it’s still not enough, we don’t know when it’ll come back but of course if it returns to high levels we will look into shifting back to higher volumes of shrimp, that’s our main product for markets such as Japan.”

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This story originally appeared in our Thaifex blog. Catch up on the full coverage here.

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