Food and beverage Vietnam

Richard Burrage
Dec 20, 2022

Healthy food and beverage needs in Vietnam 2022The food and beverage Vietnam report investigates consumers’ perceptions of health, diet, lifestyles and consumption of food and beverages. Cimigo conducted 1,233 interviews across four key cities: HCMC, Hanoi, Danang and Can Tho to this end. Cimigo has a dedicated consumer market research team with a deep understanding and passion for food and beverages.  The results highlighted herein address attitudes and behaviour amongst consumers in Vietnam, helping companies identify what actions to take to better satisfy Vietnamese consumers.

The healthy food and beverage Vietnam report is available to download for free. Further customised reports with analysis specific to your business are available for a fee of VND90,000,000 (US$3,750).

Download the healthy food and beverage Vietnam report here 

Needs for healthy food and beverages in Vietnam

Healthy eating and Vietnamese lifestyles

Vietnamese consumers focus on healthy eating

Vietnamese have a high health consciousness. More than half are following a healthy diet. 67% feel that although their diet could be healthier, it is good enough. Vietnamese expect improvement in physical and mental health to lower the risk of disease and live longer. Immunity, cardio health, gut health and brain health are the key benefits for food companies to deliver in their products.

Vietnamese consumers are willing to pay more for organic and natural foods

5 in 10 consumers are aware of food standards and seek them out. However, knowledge of specific standards is limited and naivety is high. The common food standards consumers look for are Vietgap (25%), Organic (25%) and ISO (20%). 72% of those aware of standards, claim that they will pay up to 10% more for products certified by food standards.

Nearly 2 in 3 consumers claim that they are prepared to pay up to 10% more for organic and natural foods. Imported foods from Japan (40%), the USA (32%), New Zealand (37%) and Australia (31%), are more popular for being organic and natural. Vietnamese organic and natural products are emerging and becoming accepted by consumers (23%).

Food and beverage Vietnam: Vietnamese consumers seek to control their diet to be fresh and healthy

Health consciousness is becoming more visible in how Vietnamese consumers select foods in daily life. Attention is given to more nutritional foods and changes in their cooking styles to support a healthy diet. There is an emerging trend for brown or red rice which is perceived to have more nutrition and to better control cholesterol. Besides consumers’ efforts to use healthy ingredients, consumers claim to have changed their cooking styles such as; reducing fried dishes (52%), adding more vegetables or fibre (47%) and reducing sugar in dishes (41%).

26% followed some form of diet in the past year. Dietary approaches include eating more fruit and vegetables (47%), reduced snacking (43%), increased fibre (41%) and more vitamins and minerals (40%).

Beverages are not given the same level of health consciousness, as consumers seek enjoyment and pleasure from beverages. Consumers want to satisfy themselves with refreshing drinks such as coffee, soft drinks or bubble tea. A few recent emerging trends are fermented drinks and Korean rice drinks, which are thought to have several health benefits such as reducing risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer whilst providing a good source of vitamins.

Food and beverage Vietnam: Health supplements added to regimes for consumers in Vietnam

In addition to healthy eating, consumers seek out health supplements in order to support their health and prevent long-term diseases, namely; multivitamins, traditional health remedies, minerals and collagen supplements.

Consistently, consumers expect to strengthen resistance (62%),  immunity (53%), support bone and joint strength (44%), digestion (40%) and brain development (38%). For females, beauty benefits are anticipated strongly to provide for anti-ageing (47%), and skin and hair support (48%).

Supplements use is higher amongst females where choices extend beyond health to beauty enhancements. The use of supplements for rejuvenation begins from a young age and is already significant at 25 years. There is now a wide array of health supplements to match different generations and benefits.

Download the healthy food and beverage Vietnam report here 

Food and beverage Vietnam: Traditional medicines remain entrenched in Vietnamese consumer habits

Using traditional medicinal remedies is ingrained in Vietnamese culture. Animals and plants which are believed to have a strong impact on curing and healing specific ailments are well known to consumers. These are used in raw form or as ingredients added to wider supplements.  Bird’s Nest is the most well-known traditional ingredient and is often cooked on its own or mixed with other ingredients. Cordyceps, saffron and black garlic are also common. Manufacturers increasingly use traditional remedies to provide compelling proof points in their foods, beverages and supplements.

Food and beverage Vietnam: Renew food and beverage labelling to fit Vietnamese consumers’ needs

Vietnamese consumers expect nutritional information on the pack

Product labelling for Vietnamese consumers

When selecting food or beverages, the expiration date, quality and origins are essential to shoppers. Nutrition plays an important role, consumers expect to see a clear display of nutritional information on the pack (81%), how natural it is (80%), ingredients added to make it healthier (78%) or ingredients removed in order to be healthier (75%).

Two-thirds of consumers have the habit to check product information regularly. 55% claim to look at the nutrition information on the pack, 41% seek a healthy icon and 25% seek an organic icon when making a purchase.

Fat and sugar content are the two biggest nutritional concerns. 51% check for fat content and 49% check for sugar content. In contrast, they also care about what ingredients are added in to make it healthier such as vitamins (66%), protein (50%), fibre (45%) and omega (33%).

Many consumers (61%) admit that they do not feel confident about the nutritional advice they come across generally (beyond packaging) because it is too often contradictory.

Product reformulation and Vietnamese consumer perspectives

Low-fat and low-sugar products are highly welcomed by consumers in Vietnam

Vietnamese consumers product reformulation

With high health consciousness and many trends towards a healthy diet, healthier product reformulation is positively welcomed by Vietnamese. Over 80% believe that reformulating products to be healthier is a necessary action for food and beverage companies. However taste is still one of the top considerations, companies not only need to make the recipe healthier but also maintain the taste and flavour profiles.

In terms of ingredients, consumers are highly receptive to sugar and fat usage reduction. 82% of consumers are happy to remove trans-fat from products and 78% prefer to replace sugar with low or non-calorie sweeteners. Besides, with wider consumption of plant-based milk products, eight out of ten claim them to be viable alternatives for traditional animal milk.

Many beverage products are expected to be healthier by consumers in Vietnam

With the desire to seek enjoyment and pleasure from beverages, consumers believe that many beverages are already healthier and will continue to become healthier over the next five years to support their effort in eating healthy, with yoghurt, milk, juice and smoothies being the healthiest beverages.  The Vietnam food and beverage landscape has seen bubble tea become a large part of Vietnamese consumers’ lifestyles nowadays. Consumers want it to become healthier in the next five years so they can freely enjoy it without affecting their diet.

Download the healthy food and beverage Vietnam report here 


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