- World-class Pizza brand debut in Cambodia to uphold bigger slice of market share, planning to take three years to expand it stores reaching to the same number that a leading operator has spent for 15 years
- Pizza Hut will be the pizza brand of choice among Cambodian youth who have more income and prefer modern lifestyle
- Cambodia’s pizza market has generated about $100 million in revenue per year and that no smart company can ignore such the trend.
American-based fast-food chain Pizza Hut is set to debut in Cambodia this month, bringing new experience of the world-class Pizza brand to Cambodia where modern eating habit is growing among young population.
Originally owned by US-restaurant firm Yum Brands Inc., Pizza Hut is brought into Cambodia by a local-food chain corporation United Food Group (UFG), the owner of Cambodia’s leading restaurant Park Café which is operating 20 stores in the country.
Heng Sengly, UFG’s Chief Executive Officer, said the first store of Pizza Hut will be opened at an expat area and business hub near Russian market in mid-August. Two other stores are opening within the third quarter this year.
UFG is planning to open 30 stores in the country within the next two or three years, According to Mr.Sengly.
“Number of Cambodian young people has seen growing in their decent income remarkably, hence preferring brand product to enhance their lifestyle,” said Sengly, adding that “we believe that Pizza Hut will be the pizza brand of choice among youth; and we are aiming to promote modern pizza eating culture to Cambodian people offering them the world-class pizza brand at a similar price with existing brands,” he said.
According to Sengly, Pizza Hut will be able to seek bigger slice of pizza market share in Cambodia, aiming to take three years to expand stores reaching the same numbers that the existing players have spent for 15 years.
“It is a new trend that many young Cambodian people lead busier work lives, generating more income and enables them to spend on leisure and high-class food. This means that eating at home and cooking theirs own food has become less commonplace that is why we want to make eating habit easier for young Cambodian generation,” he said.
Although Pizza is Western food, eating it in Cambodia is very common now especially among young people. According to a projection by UFG, Pizza markets in Cambodia generated approximately $100 million in revenue in 2019. The market is estimated to grow between 15 to 20 percent annually as Cambodia’s consuming class increase year-on-year, thanks to the country has enjoyed its economy growth with more foreign direct investment (FDIs) keep flowing in.
The trend is one that no smart company can ignore. There have been several Pizza Companies operating in Cambodia for years; seizing the opportunity such as Thai-based The Pizza Company, US-based Domino’s Pizza, US-based Papa John’s Pizza, Philippines-base Yellow Cab Pizza, and Pezzo Pizza of Singapore.
Unlike others Pizza brands in Cambodia, Pizza Hut Cambodia has superior advantage of best practice sharing across the globe as Pizza Hut has 18,703 restaurants in over 100 countries worldwide as at the end of 2019, making it the world’s largest pizza chain in terms of locations. Pizza Hut always adapt to modern online marketing approach, keeps innovation, and continuous store expansions.
The Pizza Company opened its first store in Cambodia since 2005 which is brought in by Express Food Group (EFG) – a member of Bangkok-based RMA Group that specialized in automotive, equipment, services and food brands business.
According to a report from Pizza Marketplace in November 2002, Thai firm Minor Group launched The Pizza Company in Thailand in March 2001, one year after it divorced itself from the Pizza Hut brand. Minor Group was Thailand’s Pizza Hut franchisee from 1980 until 2000 when Pizza Hut owner, Tricon, accused Minor of violating its franchise agreement.
Both parties ended dispute in 2000 with an out-of-court settlement that saw Minor divorced itself from the Pizza Hut brand and reopen its 116 stores under The Pizza Company badge in 2001. In the ASEAN region, Pizza Company operates in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand.
For Pizza lover like Long Sophia who knows Pizza Hut’s quality since she was studying at California of the USA, the arrival of Pizza Hut to Cambodia will provide better choice for Cambodia pizza lovers and it will be a wake-up call for existing players to beware of the legacy of the new brand.
“Want it or not, existing players need to improve their service and quality to uphold their slice, otherwise they will be forced to accept the thinner portion,” she said, adding that Pizza Hut is like a mother brand of pizza who know very well how the kid perform. “The original test of world-class pizza is now arrival and it can be a nightmare of the existing player.”
About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company. Founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kan., Pizza Hut operates more than 18,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.
About Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 49,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories primarily operating the company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over eight new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development. In 2018, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. In 2019, Yum! Brands was named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second consecutive year.
About United Food Group (UFG)
United Food Group (UFG) is a food chain corporation, majorly owned by V-Trust Group with Singaporean-based EMIA Investments Cambodia. UFG was established in 2020 with the purpose to offer deliciously healthy foods with global exciting experiences to people in Cambodia. UFG fully owns Park Café, which is a leading local brand restaurant established since 2004. At the end of 2020, Park Café has 20 stores across Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham and Sihanoukville. UFG is also a sister company of real estate firm Zillennium, a one-stop shop integrated solution to business partners and end-customers in real estate sector and also operates the Master franchise license of Century 21, ERA and Coldwell Banker from US.
Pizza Hut International
Director, Strategic Communications
United Food Group (UFG)