A confectionery aisle at the
Aeon Supermarket in Ha Noi. - VNS Photo Doan Tung
HCM CITY-Confectionery giants are struggling to compete for
market share during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, which begins next week.
Big companies like Kinh Đô Mondelez, Bibica, Topcake, Hải Hà,
Hữu Nghị, and Biscafun have launched promotion to attract more customers.
With the slogan “Seeing Kinh Đô Means Seeing Tết”, Kinh Đô
Mondelez has introduced more than 40 confectionery products to serve the Tết
market, priced at VNĐ40,000-200,000 (US$1.8-8.8) to serve a range of
Vũ Quốc Tuấn, deputy general marketing and communication
director of Kinh Đô Mondelez, said Kinh Đô began running promotions for Tết
since the end of last month.
Bibica has also introduced more than 1,800 tonnes of new
confectionery products to the market, a rise of 10 per cent over the same
period last year.
Most of Bibica’s confectionery products are available at more
than 500 stores, supermarkets and 10,000 retail shops nationwide.
Trương Phú Chiến, general director of Bibica, said sales had
doubled the target after nearly a month of introducing new products.
“Bibica focused on improving product quality and selling Tết
products earlier. It has emphasised various segments of products to meet
customer demand,” he said.
Meanwhile, Topcake is ready for competition with two major
segments, including the high-end segment priced at VNĐ100,000-150,000 and the
low-end segment at VNĐ40,000-100,000.
Lâm Ngọc Thẩm, general director of Topcake, said Topcake early
last year invested in advanced technology and improved production capacity.
Other well-known brands such as Hải Hà, Hữu Nghị and Biscafun
are also expected to increase confectionary output by 10 per cent to serve
the holiday this year.
Business Monitor International (BMI) reported that Việt Nam’s
confectionery market is expected to generate VNĐ40 trillion (1.76 billion) in
BMI pointed to the high market potential in Việt Nam, where
the average person consumes around two kilos of sweets a year, compared to
the global average of 2.8 kilos.
The high growth has attracted many foreign businesses.
The confectionery sector generates $1 billion every year in
Việt Nam and most of the profits go to foreign firms.
Many Vietnamese economists worry that outsiders are taking
over the market since local consumers appear to have lost their appetite for
locally made cookies, cakes and candies.
Although accounting for more than 70 per cent of market share
at big supermarkets like Big C, Lotte and Aeon, more and more foreign
confectionary brands are present in Việt Nam.
Severe competition between local and foreign brands exists in
minimarts, retail shops, traditional markets and industrial parks.
There are few major local names to compete with Tous Le Jours,
Paris Baguette and Orion from South Korea, Break Talk from Singapore, Mars
and Kraft Foods from the US, or Euro Cake from Thailand.
The foreign snack brands import all of their supplies instead
of using Vietnamese ingredients.
A representative of Pat’a Chou, a French bakery brand with two
outlets in HCM City, said they imported everything from wheat flour to milk
powder from Europe.
A vendor at wholesale Bình Tây market in District 6 said it
was very difficult to sell local confectionery products as they were not as
eye-catching as foreign brands and the selection was quite poor.
“Most of my customers prefer foreign brands,” he said.
Lưu Thuỳ Vân, 42, a confectionery importer in HCM City, said
customers seemed to prefer foreign confectionery products over local ones.
Imported sweets are becoming more diverse in the high-end
segment with famous brands from Europe such as Denmark, France and the UK as
well as in the mid-range segment with products made in Thailand and
More and more foreign confectionery companies have invested in
For example, the Kinh Đô group now belongs to Mondelez
International Inc., the maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers after a
merger and acquisitions deal.
In addition, Orion Vina was invested in by the Orion group of
To compete with foreign brands, industry insiders said the
local confectionery businesses should reform its practices, from packaging to
quality to price of products.
Fake and counterfeit products are another challenge faced by
local businesses, which has become a serious issue during the Tết holiday.
Nguyễn Thành Phương, a representative of the HCM City Market
Management Division, said counterfeit confectionery products had become a
critical issue as it was becoming more difficult to identify counterfeit
products are produced not only locally but are also imported, requiring
businesses to work more closely with agencies to fight such products, he