Sustainable grass - the Asian markets
Asia is a developed, complex and competitive market. With the exception of Japan, differences in quality are not yet really recognized or accepted by end-users. TenCate Grass’s strategy here is therefore focused mainly on end-user marketing, with an eye to creating a distinctive position as regards both the quality and appearance of synthetic turf fields and reputation.
Rugby match on synthetic turf in Japan
The major synthetic turf markets in Asia are China, Korea and Japan. In China more than 95% of the domestic market is made up of multipurpose fields for schools and universities. As far as quality awareness is concerned, there is still a lot of work to be done here. End-users lack sufficient knowledge at the budgeting and bidding stages. The dispersion of end-users over more than 450,000 schools makes it very difficult to get the quality concept across. TenCate Grass customers operate in the high-quality market segment and occupy a dominant position there. Local yarn producers make very cheap monofilament and tape yarns for a lower market segment, in which they have a large market share.
The market for landscaping, like sports applications, is dominated by cheap monofilaments from local producers. However, when it comes to landscaping elsewhere in the world, TenCate products sell like hot cakes.
Hockey field based on synthetic turf yarns of TenCate at the Olypic Games in Beijing (2008)
Whereas football in China is as yet a conservative market, this is not the case in Japan and Korea. The Japanese football market is quality conscious. System thinking and the system approach are reasonably well developed here. TenCate Grass customers here have a dominant share in this market.
In Korea too football occupies a dominant position, with multipurpose fields coming a good second. People here are quality conscious and the market is growing rapidly, but there is fierce competition from local extruders and tufters, which keeps the market price low. This growth has enabled TenCate Grass customers to strengthen their control of the market. The landscaping market is increasing, but is supplied mainly by local companies.
Football pitch with synthetic turf yarms of TenCate in the harbour of Singapore
In its aim to achieve joint development of the market, TenCate Grass has selected a number of strategic partners. These partnerships will strengthen cooperation with strategic customers in the field of end-users and co-branding and thus enable TenCate synthetic turf products to be marketed to maximum effect.
Synthetic turf in the Forbidden City in Beijing
TenCate Grass operates the TenCate Field Certificate system. This also provides the guarantee that these really are TenCate products and not imitations. This is being tightened up to support end-users directly before, during and after the installation. This is one of the efforts being made to increase quality awareness.
Rugby match on synthetic turf in Hong Kong
Finally, savings on water and energy consumption are a key area of attention in Asia for multipurpose fields.This is one reason why synthetic turf is so often used, in addition to the maintenance aspect. The landscaping market in Asia by contrast is, as mentioned, still modest. The authorities do not as yet regard synthetic turf as a solution to reduce water consumption in public areas