Business deals to boozy lunches: Vietnam outpaces beer-drinking peers

By Ha Phuong   January 17, 2017 | 11:00 am PT
The country seems to have developed a seemingly unquenchable thirst for the amber nectar.

Vietnam is famous for its beer drinking culture. It is widely believed that business deals in Vietnam tend to go more smoothly over a few drinks at the negotiating table. In 2014, the country became the world’s 11th biggest beer consumer, 3rd in Asia after China and Japan, and 1st in Southeast Asia, a long way ahead of runner-up Thailand.

The main consumers of beer remain Vietnamese males of a working age. But recently, more and more Vietnamese women are starting to drink when socializing with work colleagues, stated research group BMI in a 2016 report.

Relatively low cost of beer compared to other big drinkers in Asia only makes it easier to also nhau - a Vietnamese habit of "eating and drinking for no particular purpose"

On average, each Vietnamese person spends around VND2.4 million on beer every year, accounting for 5 percent of their income.

And unlike the rest of the world, where consumption of alcohol and beer has barely changed in the past decade, Vietnam has seen an increasing trend, according to a 2016 report by Euromonitor.

Beer production in Vietnam has also increased in recent years. In the latest report by Kirin, a Japanese beverage company, Vietnam ranked 8th worldwide in terms of the amount of beer produced, climbing 13 spots compared to 2007.

Beer production in 2015 reached 4.67 billion liters, surpassing the government's projection for 2020 of 4.6 billion liters. 


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