Demand for imported beer surges

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 08:30

A beer production line of Sabeco Sai Gon. The domestic beer market is expected to face fierce competition from imported brews after the country joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership. — Photo
HCM CITY (Biz Hub) — The domestic beer market is expecting fierce competition from imported brews after it joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Under the agreement, Viet Nam's imported beer tax will be reduced from 35 per cent to 0 per cent.

"The market share for exported beers is sharply increasing," a staff member at Big C in district 2 told

The demand for foreign beer has risen sharply in recent years, with more imported beers lining supermarket shelves.

"I used to go to beer dealers to buy beer imported from foreign countries but now I can find them at supermarkets near my house," said District 2 resident Pham Anh Hoang.

Despite imported beers being more expensive, Viet Nam's middle and high income consumers are developing a stronger taste for foreign brands. Prices range from VND20,000 – 40,000 (US$1 – 2), between double and four times the cost of domestic beer.

The market for imported beer is also increasing. At the beer section of a Big C store in District 2, imported beer accounts for two-thirds of the selection, including brands such as Japan's Asahi, Corona, German brands Oettinger and Bitburger and Royal Dutch.

IN addition to a growing supermarket presence, advertisements are also appearing online in a bid to attract more buyers.

One beer dealer in Binh Thanh District said they were distributing more than 20 varieties of foreign beer.

"The number of imported beers is much more than domestic brands. Although Heineken is produced in Viet Nam, many brands imported from overseas are still receiving warm welcomes from Vietnamese beer lovers", he said.

Nguyen Van Viet, chairman of the Viet Nam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association (VBA) said the country was one of region's largest consumers of beer with consumption reaching 2.9 billion litres last year, up 2.5 per cent from the previous year. — VNS

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