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Manufacturers urged to study consumer trends

Update: July, 07/2012 - 10:21

HCM CITY — Consumer goods manufacturers need to develop a better understanding of the changing retail market situation in order to ensure what they produce is consumed, experts say.

For instance, it is not enough to focus merely on producing good quality products. The firms also need to research and find out what the consumer is looking for and improve their packaging if their products are to be stocked on supermarket shelves.

Hoang Trong, research director of the Pathfinder, a HCM City-based business consultancy, said at a conference yesterday that modern retailing had developed very quickly and would gradually predominate traditional retail channels in the near future.

The conference was organised by the High Quality Vietnamese Products Business Association.

"More and more consumers are opting to buy products at supermarket since it has several advantages over traditional channels.

"They sell goods of clear origin, have convenient timings because they close their doors late, saving time because buyers can buy many kind of products under one roof and create conditions for men to share family responsibilities," Trong said.

"Consumers choose food based on many factors, but in general, food safety is a deciding factor, followed by reasonable price and promotions," he noted.

Local enterprises should work with supermarkets and have their goods sold at these outlets even though it might not be easy to negotiate favourable deals with them, he said.

Le Thi Thanh Lam, deputy general director of the Saigon Food Company, agreed that "bringing products to supermarkets is hard."

Because it is more difficult to survive and develop their products in such a setting because of fierce competition, firms should have "concrete strategies to invest methodically in developing their distribution via supermarkets," Lam said.

She echoed Trong's advice that while produce goods of consistent quality to maintain their prestige, firms should carry out "relentless research" and turn out new products that meet meeting customers' demands. — VNS

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