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Rural goods come to supermarkets

Update: December, 05/2013 - 09:30
Customers shop for fresh vegetables at Sai Gon Co-op Mart in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HCM CITY (VNS)  — The unique traditional features of rural markets and their specialities are being showcased at many modern distribution channels in an effort to promote Vietnamese products as well as earn higher revenue in difficult economic times.

Several weeks ago, wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam announced a new pilot model at its Metro Thang Long store in Ha Noi with the hopes of bringing traditional features of the Vietnamese people to their customers.

With this plan, floor space has been set aside and designed to look like a rural market. The area in the store in Ha Noi sells food and other products, and offers promotions.

Khuat Quang Hung, head of the Metro's general affairs and corporate communications, told Viet Nam News that with food hygiene and safety being the highest concern of consumers, such trading methods had made their customers feel more secure.

He explained that the products were provided by suppliers and farmers from areas that grow clean vegetables and fruits in Dong Anh District of Ha Noi and northern Hai Duong Province.

"We have signed contracts with farmers and suppliers so that we can ensure the quality of our products as well as food hygiene and safety. Moreover, thanks to the co-operation, the price of many products such as carrots, corn, watermelons and many vegetables, is about 10-15 per cent lower compared with wholesale markets," he said.

Although they have not set up specific areas for rural specialities, other big supermarkets such as Big C and Co-op Mart, for a long time, have begun to sell these kinds of foods.

At Co-op Mart, customers can find many rural specialities but they are all packaged. Meanwhile, at Big C, there are many choices.

A representative from Big C said that for many years their supermarkets in HCM City sold Pia cake, a speciality from Soc Trang Province in the Mekong Delta, bean cakes and many kinds of noodles, which are specialities of southern provinces.

"The supermarket decided to sell these specialities to meet the demand of customers and to advertise rural specialities," she said.

The new business method has brought good results to the model distribution channel.

Hung of Metro said that thanks to the new model, their revenue had increased.

"The revenue rose, especially on initial days. We also received many supportive ideas from customers," he said.

According to Hung, the pilot will be run until Tet (Lunar New Year). If the pilot goes smoothly, it will be expanded and applied to their systems in the entire region.

Meanwhile, Big C said that sales had been good and in the coming time it would expand the model. It plans to co-operate with small- and medium-sized enterprises to bring more rural specialities to its system.

Individual customers have also traded these products in social networks.

Just with one click on a link about rural specialities, customers can find favourite foods on many pages, such as Facebook, online forums or other sites like dacsanvungmien.com.

However, experts warned that customers must carefully consider choices before purchasing because online markets, unlike brick-and-mortar supermarkets, do not ensure the quality of the products that are sold online.—VNS


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