|Customers shop at a BigC supermarket in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — With the COVID-19 pandemic remaining unpredictable, food and beverage businesses are keeping production at moderate levels and not introducing many new products for Tết (Lunar New Year) unlike other years.
Many believe the current economic crisis will not allow people to spend as much as usual during Tết, and so some food producers are even considering reducing production for Tết by up to 20 per cent year-on-year.
At this time of the year businesses usually expand production to meet surging demand.
Lý Kim Chi, chairwoman of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said due to very low demand and an unpredictable market that depends on the COVID-19 situation, businesses do not dare increase production.
Instead, they are stocking up on raw materials and packaging to be able to meet demand when the market revives, she said.
A survey by the Ministry of Industry and Trade found the market showing signs of recovery, with inventories shrinking by 14 per cent compared to four months ago.
But analysts do not think the worst is over.
The city encourages distributors and manufacturers to run promotion programmes to stimulate demand for shopping to drive economic recovery with priority given to online channels and non-cash payment.
To begin with they have been advised to focus on speeding up production, supplying goods for Tết and reconnecting broken supply chains.
The city plans to organise a conference to connect goods supply between the city and other provinces from December 2 to 5.
It will also organise the 2021 Promotion Fair from December 21 to 26 at the Phú Thọ Sports Stadium in District 11 with more than 450 booths showcasing consumer goods, farm produce and handicrafts without the 50 per cent discount cap in force.
The promotions will also include gifts and lucky draws. Participating businesses need to ensure the origin and quality of their products.
Bùi Tá Hoàng Vũ, director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said promotion programmes are very important now as a bridge for businesses and consumers to meet.
This year, due to the pandemic, total retail sales in the city has halved from last year.
In the last two months of the year, with policies to stimulate demand and focused promotions, the city hopes to stimulate shopping, even in international branded products at low prices.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will organise a month-long programme called ‘National Focused Promotion Month’ in December.
Participating businesses need to strictly comply with pandemic prevention regulations stipulated by the Ministry of Health. — VNS