Vietnamese Consumers Splash Out On Drinks

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 | 647 Views

With a population of more than 93 million, that’s increasing both in size and purchasing power, Vietnam is an extremely attractive market to the food and beverage sector.

The beverage industry alone turned over VND30 trillion (US$1.3 billion) last year, according to the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association (VBA).

But while it is well known that Vietnam is a lucrative market for alcoholic beverages and beer specifically, a new report from research company Decision Lab has shown that a big opportunity for brands in Vietnam could lie in healthy soft drinks.

Whilst men are responsible for the majority of out of home beer consumption, to women healthy drinks such as juice, smoothies and milk are more appealing.

Decision Lab’s Report also showed that the consumption of carbonated soft drinks per capita in Vietnam in 2016 is now at 7.2 litres per year, an increase from previous years.

For brands, the opportunity lies in the decreased price sensitivity Vietnamese have towards soft drinks in comparison to food: seven percent of drinks are chosen because of value for money considerations compared to 12 percent of food items and for drinks, health is a bigger driver for choosing than for food, with 13 percent of drinks chosen for this reason compared to just seven percent of food chosen because of health considerations.

Decision Lab research director Katrin Roscher said: “While Vietnamese will perhaps not feel comfortable splurging on a lunch or snack, they’ll happily part with money on a premium coffee from a coffee shop chain, bubble tea or drinks perceived to have health values.”

When it comes to healthy drinks, a specific area of interest is lactose free milk. The report demonstrates that in a nod to Western consumer habits, milk is increasingly being consumed with dessert and snack items such as ice cream, cake, yoghurt and cookies. Given many Asian consumers find it difficult to digest lactose, the market for lactose-free milk has a lot of potential.