In Vietnam, love for snacks is going strong

By Thi Ha   May 25, 2018 | 07:34 am PT
In Vietnam, love for snacks is going strong
A boy buys snack at a convenience store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nga
Vietnamese people spent $354 million on snacks last year and the figure is expected to grow 7 percent this year.

Consumers in Vietnam love snacks and although competition is getting fiercer, the snack business is expected to keep going strong in the coming years, according to experts in the field.

Loan, owner of a grocery store in Go Vap District of Ho Chi Minh City, said among all confectionery her store is offering, snacks are the best-sellers.

“Not only kids but youths under 30 are fans of snacks. Sometimes I can sell 200 packs of snacks in just two days,” she said.

Hoa, a confectionery wholesaler in the city's District 3, said she earns tens of thousands dollars from snacks every year.

“For the past three years, my dealers have reported revenue growth of 10-15 percent each year,” she added.

What Loan and Hoa described match the data released by Germany's Statista Market Research Co and Nielsen Vietnam, a global performance management company.

Statista said revenue from the snack business in Vietnam hit $354 million last year, up 8.5 percent against 2016.

The company predicted that this year’s figure will hit $379 million and climb to $455 in 2021.

Nielsen’s data, which covered both traditional and modern trade channels nationwide, indicated that the sales of food in Vietnam increased by 7 percent year-on-year in 2017, and snacks enjoyed the highest growth of 21 percent.

The snack market is now occupied by both local and foreign producers, including the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand, with prices of each snack pack ranging from VND2,000 (around $9 cents) to 40,000 (less than $2).

Although the market is quite competitive, producers said they are still highly profitable.

South Korea’s Orion, which is holding more than half of market share in processed confectionery in Vietnam, said it has always registered double-digit growth rate in revenue.

Last year, it earned VND174.5 million in revenue, up 24.1 percent, and for the snack business alone, the growth was as high as 40 percent.

In the first three months of this year, the company sold nearly 20,400 snack products, making up 30 percent of its total sales.

Vietnam’s Pepsico, which is famous for its beverage products, said it has earned more from selling snacks than drinks in recent years.

A brand expert based in HCMC who wanted to remain anonymous said despite the strong competition in the snack market, newcomers still have room and opportunity to thrive in Vietnam.

This is because the target customers of this product are children and young people, who often change their tastes and habits and easily adopt new trends, the expert said.

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