VN foods embrace health to compete: experts

Thursday, Sep 27, 2018 19:22

Experts at a conference on improving Vietnamese products’ competitiveness held in HCM City this week. — Photo baocongthuong

Focusing on healthy products and working closely with farmers can make Viet Nam’s food products competitive, experts have said.

Chau Ngoc Hanh of market research company Nielsen, speaking at a conference in HCM City on Wednesday, said a successful product line should combine innovativeness and things customers are familiar with.

Studies by Nielsen have show that 80 per cent of Vietnamese consumers worry about the effect of artificial ingredients in their food, 89 per cent are willing to pay high prices for healthy foods and 88 per cent read labels and information printed on food packaging carefully, she said.

“Vietnamese consumers are highly conscious of their health and very active in preserving it.”

Many demand greater nutrition and more authentic ingredients, and businesses have to earn customers’ trust by proving their products meet their needs and originated from a trusted source, and clear, detailed labelling that informs customers of product origins can help, she added.

Nguyen Duy Long of the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products said that Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand are focusing on nutritious snacks and instant traditional meals that are quick and easy to make but retain their flavour, nutrition and authenticity like traditional food.

Viet Nam too should pursue such products, he added.

Le Thanh Truc, director of Ruou Phu Le Corporation which makes alcoholic drinks, said businesses should work closely with farmers, establish trust, always honour agreements with them, and buy their harvests fully.

Pham Xuan Da, head of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s office in the southern region, said his ministry is working with business groups to help farmers improve the quality of their produce and working on the “One Commune, One Product” model in which each district and commune would focus on one traditional Vietnamese product.

Pham Khanh Phong Lan, head of the HCM City Food Safety Management Board, said the board has been stepping up inspections of produce sold in traditional markets, and urged businesses to acquire certification and focus on building brands to improve their competitiveness. — VNS


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