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Foreign food invading domestic market
  • | VietNamNet | October 15, 2011 05:18 PM

Producers and exporters from Europe, the US and Australia have been promoting the sale of farm produce to Vietnam, the country with 80 percent of population living on agricultural production.

Supermarkets selling foreign food

Truong Thi Yen, Director of HHAFCO, a food distribution company in HCM City, said that from October 2011, her company begins importing food products from Italia and Canada to sell domestically. The import products would include fresh, canned, frozen or bottled fruit juice, grinded fruits, olive oil and vegetables.

Yen has revealed that in the immediate time, her company would import one container a month, but the volume may increase later depending on the domestic demand.

Goodfood Company, a well known food importer and distributor in HCM City, is importing some 200 foreign food items, including meat of different kinds, seafood, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, vegetable oil, sweeties and coffee, mostly from the US, Europe and Australia.

The representative of Huong Thuy Trade, Service and Production Company, known as a big dairy product and food importer, has also said that the import turnover of the company has increased sharply in recent months.

Importers say that the high grade products are imported to be provided to hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, groceries and pharmacy stores as well.

Truong Thi To Loan from Big C supermarket chain said that the retailer has received an increasingly high number of invitations for foreign food and farm produce. However, Big C has refused the invitations because it has a specific business strategy.

The representative of Coop Mart also said that the supermarket has to refuse foreign food suppliers to prioritize selling domestic products. However, market analysts have commented that the invitations show that European and American food is gradually invading the Vietnamese market.

Global economic recession brings foreign food to Vietnam

Experts say that foreign food from Europe, the US and Australia has been flowing into Vietnam and other regional countries, because the economic recession has led to the sharp demand falls in the country, which has forced foreign producers to push up export to other markets.

Vietnam proves to be a good target market, where the demand is increasingly high thanks to the improved living standards.

Bui Minh Hue, Director of Sao Viet Company, a distributor in HCM City, said that despite the economic difficulties and the dollar appreciation against the dong, big importers and distributors still can “hold out” thanks to their profuse capital. They are the people who decide the prices of import products.

Analysts have predicted that foreign food would keep flowing to Vietnam in the time to come, because of the increases in the big-scale marketing activities of some governments. 73 percent of the 373 companies which participated in Food & Hotel 2011 exhibition in late September in HCM City were foreign companies.

Especially, the event witnessed the presence of the businessmen from the US and Germany. The group of US agricultural representatives comprised of 15 enterprises, led by Michael Scuse, Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, arrived in Vietnam to seek the business opportunities for US agricultural products.

UPEMI, the organization of European meat exporters, has said it will step up the export of pork and beef of European countries to Vietnam. Germany enterprises not only try to bring food to Vietnam, but also try to approach the Vietnamese market by joining forces with Vietnamese partners to set up production bases which make products with the trademarks of German groups.

Dr Rober Kloos, German Deputy Minister of Agriculture has revealed that a German company would team up with a Vietnamese partner to make sausage products under German standards which would be sold in Vietnam.

Market surveys have found a surprise in Vietnam: while housewives would refuse to buy import beef because the products are too expensive, they would accept to eat the import beef at restaurants. This explains why expensive luxurious food still can be sold very well in Vietnam.

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