October 21, 2012
By Doanh Nhan
Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, Director of Citimart retail chain, said the sales of foreign food have been increasing rapidly by 30-40 percent per annum. With living standards improved, Vietnamese nowadays want higher quality and diversified products. Previously, distributors mostly imported food products from Europe or the US. Meanwhile, they now seek food supplies from any possible sources and tend to import more luxurious products.
At Metro, Lotte, Co-op Mart and Maximark, the biggest retail chains in HCM City, foreign food products, from meat, fish to dairy and fruits with high sale prices have been displayed on the most advantageous positions.
Fresh daisies used for fried dishes, introduced as a product of Italia, have the sale price at 520,000 dong per kilo, young cabbage at 360,000 dong per kilo. Mushroom and fresh ginseng from South Korea has been always been ten times more expensive than Vietnamese similar products.
Big C, the retail chain which affirmed that 80-90 percent of the products available at the supermarket chain are made in Vietnam, has also admitted that the sales of foreign food products have been very high.
Restaurants and hotels are the biggest consumers of food imports. A senior executive of a five-star hotel in HCM City said the hotel, which serves 200 guests a day, uses 70 percent Vietnamese and 30 percent foreign food.
She said the imports have been mostly used for European dishes which cannot be replaced with domestic products.
Big-scale marketing campaigns would bring more foreign food to Vietnam
Tot Lanh Food Company (Goodfood) is now considered the biggest food importer in HCM City. The company imports some 200 kinds of food, from fresh and processed meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits, vegetable oil, cakes and coffee which bear 20 different brands, mostly from Europe, the US and Australia.
The imports have been distributed to big hotels and restaurants all over the country.
Hoa Nha Food Company reportedly imports 500 tons of food, of which 90 percent come from Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and the other 10 percent from Europe.
Ha Minh Phuong, a senior executive of Hoang Lan Company, has revealed that the sales of food imports have been increasing by 15 percent over the last many years, while the growth rates of 30-50 percent have been reported for some specific kinds of products.
The satisfactory business result has prompted Hoang Lan to increase the imports and expand the distribution network not only to supermarkets, but also to big sales agents in HCM City and reach out to provincial markets.
Analysts have predicted that the food imports would continue rising in the time to come following the big scale marketing campaigns at the government level. The food exporters from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have been actively looking for Vietnamese suitable partners.
Most recently, in mid-September, a group of 50 businesses arrived in Vietnam to attend the Vietfood & Beverage 2012 trade fair. It is expected that more and more businessmen would come in the time to come, including the one group to arrive in October.
The last year’s trade fair received the businessmen from the US and Germany who sought the opportunities to export fruits and meat. UPEMI has also announced it would help push up the exports of pork and beef of EU’s member countries to Vietnam.
Photo Credit: VietNamNet Bridge