|A panel discussion on E-commerce role in F&B trends at the Vietnam Food & Beverage conference. — Photo the organiser
HCM CITY — Since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been willing to spend more on their health, according to a Vietnam Food & Beverage conference organised recently by Vietcetera with the sponsorship of Mastercard in Hà Nội and HCM City.
This has given rise to new diet trends, with consumers demanding food packages that promise healthier living like gluten-free or keto meals and brain-boosting foods.
As part of Flavors Vietnam 2022, the third annual gastronomy festival, the event aims to boost the local food and beverage industry and empower both industry professionals and consumers to explore the payment experience offered by Mastercard.
At the event, more than 500 participants, including some of the most creative minds in the local F&B industry, discussed challenges facing the industry and the increasing demand of consumers.
They also focused on new trends, digital transformation for seamless dining experiences, safety and security and how F&B players can fulfil them in the most sustainable, innovative ways.
"Rebuilding and sustaining community momentum is the most important task to the F&B industry's revitalisation process, especially in this early stage of reopening," said Hảo Trần, Vietcetera CEO.
Experts suggested local industry players take advantage of Vietnamese people's eating, love for greens, healthy snacking, and preference for eating out in groups.
Beyond personal health, consumers have also grown to become more aware of their surroundings and seek F&B brands they share the same ethics with. This has paved the way for industry players to be more cautious about their environmental footprints, from sourcing their ingredients to packaging the products.
F&B insiders said that the pandemic had seen consumers globally adopt a digital-first approach in how they live, shop and work, with many adopting cashless habits such as QR codes, mobile phone payments and contactless cards to make every day transactions a safer and contact-free manner.
According to Mastercard New Payments Index 2021, 84 per cent of consumers in the Asia-Pacific have seen their access to emerging forms of payments increase in 2020 alone. At the same time, 88 per cent used at least one emerging payment type in the last year.
Two-thirds of all respondents (including 75 per cent of millennials) said that they tried new payment methods that they would not have tried were it not for the pandemic.
Sixty per cent of consumers polled say they would avoid merchants that do not accept electronic payments of any kind.
"The pandemic has accelerated a shift towards adopting digital-first habits in Việt Nam, and these are here to stay for the long-term. As a result, consumers are now expecting more omnichannel and seamless digital experiences when they interact with businesses, including F&B," said Winnie Wong, Mastercard Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
"To meet these evolving demands, businesses must always adopt a digital-first approach that puts consumer needs at the core of their businesses. This is imperative to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and stay ahead of the competition." —VNS.