Last month, I was at The Cathay when I noticed a green vending machine with drinks sold at unbelievable prices. Bottled fruit teas were being sold at just $1 each while the canned version was going at only 50 cents. So I thought I’d find out why the prices are so low by asking the company – Trejoy. Is Cathay paying them to place a machine here? Otherwise, why are the prices this low?!
Here’s their reply:
1) Your vending machine at The Cathay dispenses can drinks that cost as little as 50 cents and bottled beverages at mainly $1 each. This seems highly unusual for such a prime location. What’s the reason(s) for the low prices? Are you being paid to place a machine there?
At Trejoy Pte Ltd, we operate a wide range of vending machines, and our vending machine at The Cathay is one of them. Indeed, The Cathay is a prime and prominent location in the town area. Instead of retailing our beverages at a higher price, we priced our beverages at the lowest price point possible, which is 50 cents and $1.00 respectively.
This tradition started when we kicked off our vending machine operations in early-2018, with the idea to place vending machines which offer the best value and lowest-priced beverages to consumers. In fact, at times it surprises the people who notice our vending machines, and we do often get smiles and waves from customers who walk past our vending machine when we replenish the stocks at the machine.
In addition, we are not being paid or receive any monetary support to sell drinks at low prices.
2) Your best and worst experiences with regard to procuring / using vending machines for your products?
Through our years of operating vending machines, I would say our best experience has been in forging fruitful business relationships with numerous businesses and landlords. I wouldn’t say we have the worst experience but the more unsightly encounters are when dealing with the technical aspects of the vending machines. When it comes to systems and software issues, we try our best to solve the issues within a short time frame, to ensure the vending machine is always in good operating condition.
3) Trejoy imports and distributes drinks and snacks which may not be familiar to everyone, as compared to Coca-Cola, 100Plus and other household names. What obstacles / challenges has the company faced (or overcome) when getting the word out about the brands it carries?
Yes, Trejoy is the sole distributor of Sosro beverages from Indonesia. Despite being a new brand in Singapore, we do have quite a fair number of people who know about Sosro beverages, mainly due to the budget flights to Indonesia and also people who have been to Bali and Jakarta for vacations would have come across this brand. At the initial stage, we did face road blocks here and there, and also, getting businesses and other establishments to try out our beverages is not an easy task as it is a new brand here in Singapore. Thus, at Trejoy, apart from our beverages and other products, we believe in providing good service to all of our business partners and customers.
4) Your products are sold via e-commerce platforms, supermarkets, convenience stores and vending machines. Which retail mode has proven to be the most popular among your customers? And which are your best-selling products?
Good question! I think despite this COVID-19 pandemic, the proven retail mode is still with the supermarkets here in Singapore. This is where everyone gets their groceries from and thus it is still the retail mode that offers the best brand exposure and branding. However, the e-commerce platforms are booming, and traction is increasing. I guess more people are getting their groceries online, and especially because our beverages can be quite heavy, this leads to more customers buying from us through our online platforms.
Our best-selling products would be our Sosro Tehbotol Original and Less Sugar flavours, and next in line will be our Baby Food products such as Peachy Baby Food puree and snacks.
5) Trejoy appears to be a family business. What have been the advantages and disadvantages of working with family members thus far?
Yes, Trejoy is a family business. I think no organisation is perfect, it is about how we set the culture and interest for the company. We don’t really run Trejoy like the traditional style of many family-run companies. Instead, we operate as a company with collaborative effort. Everyone here works as a team and when it comes to business meetings and discussions, all of us are welcome to share our opinions and ideas. I guess this is very important, especially when it comes to moving forward and and developing new business streams for the company.
Personally, I work with the saying at the back of my head of “Cannot, Do Until Can” which in short means that if you want something, you hustle and work hard till you get it.
So there you have it, folks! I wanted to just be kaypoh and ask about why the drinks are so affordably priced. And I ended up getting a bit of (free) motivation along the way! So… for this week, let us all remember this motto of “Cannot? Do Until Can!” 🙂