Catching up with the healthy eating trend of Thai people, Vietnamese fruits and foods will have the opportunity to penetrate this Southeast Asian "power of agricultural products".
With a strong capital in raw and post-processed agricultural products, Thailand is not an easy market for Vietnamese foods to penetrate. Currently, there are only about 5 kinds of fresh fruits (white and red flesh dragon fruit, litchi, longan, mango) of Vietnam being exported here.
As noted by VnExpress at the food supermarket of CentralWorld trade center (Bangkok) on November 17, some Vietnamese fruits such as dragon fruit cost 119 baht (82,000 VND) per kilogram; longan costs 139 baht (96,000 VND), sweet potato costs 99 baht (68,000 VND).
Vietnamese packaged food brands have also entered this market not many, currently there are some types such as Mr.Viet (coffee), Bibica, Vifon, Trung Nguyen, Vinamit, Hai Binh (cashew), ChinsuFoods, Ho Tieu Viet...
Last year, Thailand was Vietnam's largest trading partner in ASEAN with a record high turnover of 19 billion USD, an increase of 18% compared to 2020. In the first ten months of the year, trade turnover reached 17.8 billion USD, 16.9% increase. However, the turnover of Vietnamese goods exported to Thailand only accounts for about a third of this amount.
However, new prospects have opened up as Thai consumption trends change and the professionalism of Vietnamese businesses improves year by year. Mr. Paul Le, Vice President of Central Retail Vietnam, said that Vietnam's opportunity is that Thai people are increasingly interested in healthy products.
That is also the reason why products that affect the health protection psychology of Vietnamese businesses participating in the Thailand Week 2022, are noticed. "This year, we're promoting organic, health-related products," said Paul Le.
According to market research by Mintel (UK) late last year, 70% of Thai consumers polled said they are trying to eat a balanced diet to positively affect their health. A similar percentage reported consuming foods and beverages with added health benefits.
Contacting three Thai buyers during the supply-demand match on November 17, Nguyen Ngoc Huong, Food Director of Quang Thanh, specializes in the production of centella asiatica powder, lettuce, perilla, moringa, and lotus leaves. ...indicates a very positive outlook. "Thais are gradually becoming more health-conscious and gotu kola powder is welcome. We see a sky of hope," Huong said.
Going to Thailand this time, Mr. Le Van Duy, Director of Delta D'Asia, surveyed several supermarkets to learn about the herbal tea market. "I see a tendency to sell healthy products in supermarkets, but there are no products that compete directly with me," he said, adding that he had received positive feedback from some buyers. about the company's ginseng and areca tea, noni fruit.
In addition, unique products that Thailand lacks or does not have are also more likely to have the opportunity to penetrate. Grape seaweed powder or macadamia nuts are examples.
Seagrapes Vietnam Company, which owns Rong Nho Truong Tho brand, received invitations to connect from six buyers out of a total of 26 units participating in the meeting with Vietnamese businesses. Deputy director Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuan said that the first unit to meet the company considered importing goods early next year.
"Thailand also produces grape seaweed, but this product of Vietnam is considered by Japanese experts to be the best," said Ms. Thuan, because the company's products are attractive.
With more familiar products, Vo Thi Thanh Huyen, Director of Sales & Marketing, a company specializing in seasoning and salting Dh Foods, also sees an opportunity thanks to its featured product lines. "Thailand is a paradise of food and food, including spices. However, Vietnam still has its advantages and offers its own unique products," said Thanh Huyen.
In addition, how wide the door to the Thai market depends on the professionalism of those businesses, from quality to packaging and the readiness of necessary technical standards. Therefore, names with international export experience will have many opportunities.
Dh Foods itself has exported to 10 markets including Japan, UK and Australia. "Our exports to these countries are increasing significantly, so we have more experience in making goods," Huyen said.
Or as the brand name Rong Nho Truong Tho, the main market is the US, besides the markets of Germany, England and France. Revenue on Amazon channel alone has brought this company millions of dollars in revenue every year...
Although they have conquered some remote and difficult markets, some manufacturers believe that the Thai market is still very important. Ms. Thanh Thuan said that meeting with Thai buyers will help their products have the potential to be connected to other international markets.
Meanwhile, Mr. Le Van Duy, Director of Delta D'Asia, attaches great importance to the Thai tourism industry. "The rate of customers coming back here is high, if they come a lot, the spread from here for our products is very good," Mr. Duy analyzed.
The opportunity is there but the journey to penetrate will still not be easy. Ms. Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy, TH's international sales director, said the company's organic and herbal drinks are of great interest to buyers. "However, the difficulty is that the import tax is quite high," said Ms. Thuy.
In response, her company plans to spend a budget on marketing to stimulate demand. According to Nguyen Thi Nguyen Phuong, this challenge can be overcome if the product is good enough and attractive enough for consumers to be willing to pay.
On November 16, during talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha during his visit to the country, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked Thailand to limit the application of trade remedies and create favorable conditions for trade. Vietnamese agricultural products access the market.
The two sides also pledged to strive to bring the bilateral trade turnover to the target of 25 billion USD soon in a more balanced direction.
Opportunities are coming, challenges are also gradually being removed, what must be noted at this time, according to Mr. Paul Le, is that Vietnamese enterprises research more processed products, promoting available confidence. "In the past 5 years with the Weekly Program, Vietnamese businesses have made great changes. They are no longer afraid, instead confident and have been able to tell the story of their products," said Mr. Paul Le. comment.