|Consumers choose milk products at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Super-market in HCM City. The country saw robust growth in nutritious food in the past year despite the economic slowdown. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HCM CITY (VNS) — Despite the continued slowdown in the economy, Viet Nam's nutrition industry saw robust growth in the last 12 months, with local consumers still rating health as a major concern behind the economy and job security, according to a recent report from market-research company Nielsen.
The findings were released at a Nielsen's Health and Nutrition Forum last week in HCM City.
The slowdown in the Vietnamese economy, with continued sluggishness in the real estate and banking market, has spread into 2013 and is still affecting certain industries.
Despite the efforts from the Government, the International Monetary Fund has recently revised Viet Nam growth numbers from 5.8 per cent to 5.2 per cent for 2013.
According to Nielsen, in spite of the softer economic numbers, certain categories perceived as healthy or nutritious by consumers were seeing double-digit growth.
The total Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) category, excluding beer, has seen 11 per cent volume and 15 per cent sales growth over a one-year period.
Growth in volume and sales of milk-based products has reached 19-22 per cent, respectively, compared with a year ago.
Vaughan Ryan, managing director of Nielsen Viet Nam, said in a press release that strong numbers indicated the growing importance of health-conscious consumption, even in tougher economic times.
He said the Vietnamese had a simple perception of healthy food, with 94 per cent agreeing that it should be safe or hygienic, along with 91 per cent stating it should be fresh.
Consumers perceive healthy food as products such as liquid milk (90 per cent), low-cholesterol oil (73 per cent), and organic food (63 per cent), along with a few other dairy products, Ryan said.
According to Nielsen findings, information about sufficient nutritional ingredients is a driver in achieving brand salience in Viet Nam.
The key factors considered when purchasing healthy food are sufficient nutritional ingredients (36 per cent), reduced risk of disease (25 per cent) and affordability (23 per cent), followed by other minor factors.
Trust is at the core of driving any engagement and success when it comes to health and nutrition in Viet Nam. —VNS