Yoklor chilled coffee taking caffeine to the people

As the temperatures soar during summer months, many folk think about cool drinks that will refresh their energy and help them to beat the heat.
There are many types of refreshing drinks available across Laos and one of the most popular is Lao-style ice coffee.
This ice-cold beverage is considered by many to be the perfect answer to rising temperatures and the caffeine contained within certainly provides an extra kick.

Iced drinks sold under the brand name YoklorTo Go.

Shops selling ice coffee can be found in nearly just about every village from the nation’s north to south but it is sometimes difficult to find a shop that serves coffee with a good taste and nice aroma at a reasonable price, Ms Phomany Keopaseuth said.
Ms Phomany is the owner of the brands Yoklor Lao Coffee and Yoklor To Go that sells packaged Lao-style cold coffee.
She began her business in 2012 by selling Lao-style ice coffee and operating a franchise with the brand name Yoklor Lao Coffee.
The recipe was passed down by her parents who hail from Luang Prabang.
Becoming better-known through word-of-mouth advertising, the chain rapidly expanded to more than 90 branches nationwide.
After a few years of stellar growth, the brand hit a roadblock in the form of intense competition in the market.
The number of branches has since decreased to about 40.
“As we had too many branches in the past, we could not easily control the taste in each branch. So we came up with the idea of creating another product which would have the same taste and quality no matter where it was sold,” she said.
She got the idea of developing a packaging for her coffee so that drinkers could get the same taste and quality anywhere. She decided to sell the cold coffee in plastic bottles because they are strong and easy to carry.
“This was the idea of starting a business dealing in Lao-style ice-coffee with the brand name Yoklor To Go,” Ms Phomany said.
“The Lao coffee in new packaging has been doing well because it is easy to carry and helps maintain the product’s quality for longer.”
The product was initially sold in schools in Vientiane and received good feedback from youngsters, she said.
“The total sales were good until the school holidays, which lasts nearly three months each year, and so we had to find more ways to market the product,” she added.
Ms Phomany has now placed her product in more than 800 shops across Vientiane and in minimarts such as M-Point, World Mart, Jiffy and Xokxay Mart.
A 300-ml bottle of coffee costs 5,000 kip, while cheaper prices are offered for wholesale orders.
There are five types of drinks under the brand namely ice coffee, milk tea, mocha, coco, and green tea.
Total sales of Yoklor To Go are 50,000 bottles a month, said Ms Phomany.
“The efforts of our business have been recognised as Yoklor To Go coffee has received the One District One Product label, which guarantees taste and quality,” she said.
Yoklor To Go is yet to make an entry in other provinces as it can be stored for only 30 days before it expires.
“We do not use any preservative in our products and so we can sell only in Vientiane, but we are in the process of improving our transportation systems and we hope to sell the product in other provinces soon,” she said.
“We plan to expand our market share in other provinces but we have to improve our delivery systems, which requires a lot of money,” she said.
“We try to use local ingredients for our products to support local farmers and also because some Lao local products such as coffee, tea, and green tea have high quality at a more reasonable price. However, only coffee can meet our needs at present,” she added.

By Souksamai Boulom
(Latest Update June 26, 2018)

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