Covid-19 impact: Vietnamese rediscover joy of eating at home

By Nguyen Quy   April 9, 2020 | 01:00 am PT
Covid-19 impact: Vietnamese rediscover joy of eating at home
Customers buy takeaway drinks at a shop on Phan Xich Long Street in Saigon's Phu Nhuan District, April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Vietnamese people are likely to eat out less and spend more time at home after life returns to post-Covid-19 normal.

A new Nielsen survey has found 62 percent of Vietnamese saying they would eat at home a lot more or a little more often after the Covid-19 crisis passes, instead of eating out.

Another 26 percent of Vietnamese respondents said they would continue eating at home the same as before.

The U.S.-based market researcher Nielsen polled over 6,000 respondents in 11 markets across Asia: mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed the eating habits of many consumers across Asia, with 86 percent of Chinese choosing to cook at home post-pandemic instead of eating out as before. The figure was 77 percent in Hong Kong, 62 percent in Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea, 56 percent in Thailand and 54 percent in Taiwan.

The survey also found 17 percent of Vietnamese respondents would order more takeaways after the Covid-19 pandemic ends while 25 percent would stick to earlier habits.

Thirty-three percent of the Vietnamese respondents said they would choose home delivery for their meals a lot more or a little more often after the pandemic instead of eating out as before.

Eating out is a normal, widely common habit, especially in urban Vietnam. But it is not an option these days, with the government announcing a 15-day social distancing campaign, urging all people to stay at home and only go out when truly necessary until April 15 and banning the gathering of crowds of more than two people.

Many restaurants have been closed, and even street food stalls only provide takeaways.     

"The Covid-19 crisis has certainly changed attitudes and behaviors of consumers," said Vaughan Ryan, managing director for Southeast Asia at Nielsen Connect.

Vietnam has recorded 251 Covid-19 infections cases as of Thursday. Of them, 128 have been discharged.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 88,500 people after it hit 209 countries and territories.

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