VietNamNet Bridge – Food is one of the most attractive business sectors as it not only has a 93 million customer domestic market, but also a vast world market with average annual export turnover of tens of billions of dollars.

Food companies spend big money on food hygiene, branding

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), Vietnam had export turnover of $155.4 billion, an increase of 14.5 percent over the same period last year. Of this, forestry, farm and seafood products brought $25.7 billion and vegetables and fruits $2.7 billion.

However, the high export turnover is not something to be proud of, since the exports were mostly raw materials. Vegetables and fruits, for example, were exported fresh or preliminarily processed (canned, juiced and dry). This explains why Vietnamese brands remain little known in the world market.

Vietnam’s coffee accounts for 90 percent of South Korea’s imports, but South Korean consumers think they are drinking Brazil’s coffee. Vietnam has numerous processed food and farm produce, but consumers only know a few of them, including Trung Nguyen coffee and Vinamilk dairy products.

CBI, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries, reported that Vietnam is one of the leading suppliers of farm and food produce with annual export turnover of tens of billion of dollars, but this is not yet a well-known brand in the world.

A survey by Nielsen found that food hygiene is the biggest concern of customers all over the world. At least 76 percent of consumers want to know all elements in their food, and 88 percent read information on packaging carefully before using.

Three years ago, consumers only sought information about manufacturers and origin of products. But they now have much higher requirements. Safety is always a top priority among consumers’ concerns.

This is also the growing tendency in Vietnam. Nguyen Duy Long from the Association of High-quality product Manufacturers says that Vietnamese are getting choosier and  have bigger sympathy with companies which expose information about the ways products are made.

Vo Quan Huy, director of Huy Long An Company, the exporter of bananas to Japan, said diaries of banana cultivation process are exposed to businessmen and retailers. Huy’s bananas meet VietGAP and Japanese standards.

Hai Dang Seafood also said it has stable markets because it applies VietGAP in farming fish. The company’s Song Da fish products officially entered Big C supermarket last June.

“Successful application of standards on food safety is the most effective tool to advertise your products,” the representative of the company said.

MOIT, in an effort to encourage the production & trade of safe food and branding, has decided to help businesses expand markets. The branding strategy for the food sector is being implemented with a series of media campaigns from now to 2020.

Source: Vietnamnet