Tet drives up demand for organic products

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 11:02

Customers buy organic products at a store in HCM City. — VNS Photo

Despite their high prices, demand for organic products like rice, fruits and vegetables has increased sharply, more so ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

There is a group of loyal customers for organic products, willing to accept high prices to buy safe products, according to experts.

Vo Minh Khai, general director of the Vien Phu Organic and Healthy Food JSC, which has been in organic production for over 10 years and exports organic rice to several foreign markets, told Nguoi lao dong (Labourers) newspaper that sales of its Hoa Sua organic rice is up 15-20 per cent now.

The Huong Xuan brand of rice grown by Saigon Co.op and Tan Tien Cooperative in Vinh Long Province with 100 per cent organic fertiliser, no pesticides, preservatives or bleach and 100 per cent unmixed and easily traceable sold very well at Saigon Co.op’s retail systems like Co.opmart.

Vinamit JSC, which supplies many kinds of organic fruits, vegetables and processed food, said demand for these products has increased significantly, but supply is limited.

Organica Investment JSC, one of Viet Nam’s leading retailers and distributors of organic and natural foods and beverages, has introduced many new local and imported organic products for Tet this year.

They include Brunehaut organic beer priced at over VND4 million (US$172) for a case of 24 bottles, teas and dried fruits and nuts.

A representative of the Organica store system said Brunehaut beer and Rabenhorst organic juices and teas are among the best-selling products now since they are suitable for gifting.

A recent survey by the High Quality Vietnamese Product Business Association found that food safety continues to be a major concern for Vietnamese consumers and they are willing to pay for products that are good for health.

Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the association, said organic foods have become a hot trend in Viet Nam. A study of organic producers estimated the current market at VND3.5 trillion ($151 million) annually.

Nguyen Huy Hoang, commercial director of market research firm Kantar Worldpanel Viet Nam, said a survey by his company had found food safety and health to be the top concerns of Vietnamese consumers.

With higher incomes, consumers tend to spend more on new kinds of goods, but fresh foods and fast moving consumer goods remain their main items of purchase.

Consumers spend around $27 billion on fresh foods annually, with “a greater focus on consumption of products that are good for their health, especially organic products”, he said.

According to the Viet Nam Organic Agriculture Association, organic produce is being sold at most supermarkets, but the prices are still high and there is often a shortage.

To meet the growing demand for organic products, retailers and producers have increased investment. — VNS

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