Market research company in Vietnam 2018 trends

Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, has identified the major trends in consumer marketing in 2018.  Vietnam continues to be growing economy, an important force to understand in the global marketplace.  Vietnam is constantly pushing the limits in growth and this leads to a sharp dichotomy in many market forces.

A 15 minute read

Opposing market forces impacting consumer behaviour in Vietnam

  1. Poor to rich households in Vietnam
  2. Rural to urban population in Vietnam
  3. Ho Chi Minh City momentum faster than Hanoi
  4. Spacious to high density living in Vietnam
  5. Risk averse to entrepreneurial empowerment in Vietnam
  6. Homogenous consumer packaged goods to highly fragmented in Vietnam
  7. Young to old population growth in Vietnam
  8. Purchase priorities shift from ownership to experiences as the new signals of success in Vietnam
  9. Local and Asian brands outpace global brands in Vietnam
  10. Movement from fresh foods to safer packaged foods in Vietnam
  11. Traditional trade still wins over modern trade stores in Vietnam
  12. Experiential food and beverage (F&B) outlets versus chain efficiencies in Vietnam
  13. More data, more marketing fools

Pushing the limits: A background of growth in Vietnam

Vietnam currently has a population of 94 million people; 35% of that population is urban.  Another 46% of those 94 million people are under 30 years old, which, not surprisingly, leads to high national internet penetration at 67% and high national smart phone usage at 68%.  9 out of 10 adults have a smart phone, provided in a large amount by the proliferation of consumer credit, which grew to 16% of Vietnam’s GDP in 2017.

Poor to rich households in Vietnam

According to Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, there are 22,000 U.S Dollar (USD) millionaires in Vietnam in 2017.  In terms of the dichotomy in Vietnam’s wealth distribution there are 272 high net worth individuals in Vietnam that have equivalent income of 90,338,350 people.  Cimigo defines high net worth as having more than  USD30 million or more in liquid assets.

In urban Vietnam, 50% or 4 million of households have an income equivalent to USD 500 or more per month.  This means that 4 million households or 17 million people are promising urban targets for consumer goods companies, service companies, e-payments, e-commerce and modern trade retailers in Vietnam.

Download Cimigo on Vietnam consumer trends 2018 here

Rural to urban population in Vietnam

For the 1st time in Vietnamese history, the rural population declined in 2018.  So while 65% of population may live in rural areas now, by 2035 that number is expected to be reduced to 55% as the urban population grows to 45%.  Even the current 35% of Vietnam living in urban area makes up 60% of the economic output of the country.

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) momentum continues to push the city ahead

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) has a population between 7.5 and 8.5 million, over double the population of Hanoi. Plus HCMC has an estimated net 700,000 daily commuters into the city.  The economic contributions of HCMC are also more than double that of Hanoi with Ho Chi Minh City making up 24% of Vietnamese economy.  HCMC’s growth and development has substantial momentum behind it, that continues to push the city ahead in its economic development.

Spacious to high density living in Vietnam

Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, report that in 2017 on average there were 8,961 motorbikes, 463 cars, and 178 apartments sold daily in Vietnam.  Ho Chi Minh City’s population density is higher than the historically crowded city of Tokyo.  Quality of life will likely decrease as population density continues to increase.    This increase offers opportunities for efficiencies in energy savings, services and opportunities for businesses centred on convenience.

Risk averse to entrepreneurial empowerment in Vietnam

The numbers back up Vietnam’s reputation as an entrepreneurial society: 110,000 new businesses were registered in 2017, continuing an 18% yearly growth in the number of new businesses.  125,000 new businesses are expected to be registered in 2018.  In addition, Vietnam is one of the top coding destinations in world, so the digital future will be bright as well.

Homogenous consumer packaged goods to highly fragmented in Vietnam

According to Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, most consumer packaged goods categories have matured, the barriers into entering the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market have greatly increased.  More retailers, more media channels, and more fragmentation have increased the workload for CPG companies seeking success in Vietnam.  There are many brands and a higher requirement for sophistication making it much more expensive to break into any given CPG category.  Customer needs and behaviour require segmenting to build compelling propositions that can win through in CPG categories.

Young to old population growth in Vietnam

Birth rates fell below 60% in 2018 amongst females 18-49 years and are dropping fast.  While the under 30’s population is now at 46% of the population, the highest growth rate will be the over 40’s population, which is adding 7 million people in the next 7 years.  The older population groups are the fastest growing in descending order with old singles, empty nester, and married couples with teens.  According to Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, these groups have vastly different purchase priorities.  These opportunities will come to fruition in the long term, making them an important trend to consider today.

Download Cimigo on Vietnam consumer trends 2018 here

Purchase priorities shift from ownership to experiences as the new signals of success in Vietnam

According to Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, consumer priorities are shifting away from owning the newest motor vehicle or newest mobile phone, to having the greatest experiences. This trend is reinforced by Facebook that facilitates the sharing of experiences and provides instant gratification for those that share. The 64 million users on the platform reinforce the social behaviour of sharing experiences, fundamentally shifting purchasing priorities.

Many Vietnamese are now investing in the educational experience provided overseas in US universities and high schools. In 2017, US$764 million was spent on Vietnamese students in the US and US$2.4 billion was spent on healthcare overseas.

Services like air travel are up with 25% growth, 32 million domestic air travelers and 27 million international thanks to companies like VietJet and Vietnam Airlines. There is also a shift in leisure and entertainment options with a plethora of chain brands attracting consumer expenditure.

Local and Asian brands outpace global brands in Vietnam

According to Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, Vietnamese and Asian brands are less afraid to fail than global brands. They are closer to the consumer and they move with far greater agility than most global brands.  There has been a Thai land grab (excuse the pun) in 2017 with many leading Vietnamese brands such as Vinamilk, Sabeco, and Masan been bought by Thai companies. In 2017 Vietnam received US$30 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) from Thailand, Korea and Japan in the business to consumer space. Asian brands are performing well because they are not afraid to fail, making them more confident and agile than large international brands.

Movement from fresh foods to safer packaged foods in Vietnam

According to Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, the move from fresh food to branded food is influenced by food scares. Provenance and origin are becoming increasingly more important with words like “natural” and “organic” getting abused and misused.  According to Cimigo, the leading market research company in Vietnam, today consumers care about what is not in our food and keeping our food clean and simple. There is a huge benefit for large retailers like supermarkets, who can put a product in a branded bag and be trusted for the quality of the product. Branded goods are helping modern trade and e-commerce grow and will be expanded into many more categories in the next few years.

Traditional trade still wins over modern trade stores in Vietnam

Modern trade has experienced only a small shift in the past ten years of the proportion of retails sales it represents. Yet the number of chain convenient stores (2,700), pharmacies, and health and wellness (320) and supermarkets (1,100) has grown rapidly in the last year. Very few of which are yet to turn an operating profit. The real growth story to come with be in online shopping in Vietnam. Vietnam e-commerce contributes a mere 1% of retail sales, having commenced only in 2015. The online shopping model in Vietnam truly delivers convenience and will see some significant winners in the next five to ten years.

Experiential food and beverage (F&B) outlets versus chain efficiencies in Vietnam

Successful independent restaurant and beverage outlets are highlighting experiential concepts in order to compete with the operational efficiencies and low prices delivered by chain operators. Increasingly the streets are lined with Asian cuisine chains, bubble tea shops and café chains.  Boutique, artisan, craft and specialty shops drive differentiation but the true proliferation has been in chain operators, for example Highlands who are fast approaching 250 outlets and doing so profitably.

More data, more complicated

Data has become more complex and readily available through digital marketing, media and transactional data. Yet it remains disparate, complex and misunderstood.   More data than ever before is available to marketers, but there are illusions that go along with the hype.  The tide is beginning to turn on digital media metrics and on data farming, not just on the global level for platforms like Facebook and Google, but at a local level as well.

Cimigo your market research company in Vietnam

These major consumer trends are shaping new dichotomies in Vietnam.  Vietnam is pushing the limits. These consumer trends present a new order and new opportunities for many marketers and their investments.

  1. Poor to rich households in Vietnam
  2. Rural to urban population in Vietnam
  3. Ho Chi Minh City momentum faster than Hanoi
  4. Spacious to high density living in Vietnam
  5. Risk averse to entrepreneurial empowerment in Vietnam
  6. Homogenous consumer packaged goods to highly fragmented in Vietnam
  7. Young to old population growth in Vietnam
  8. Purchase priorities shift from ownership to experiences as the new signals of success in Vietnam
  9. Local and Asian brands outpace global brands in Vietnam
  10. Movement from fresh foods to safer packaged foods in Vietnam
  11. Traditional trade still wins over modern trade stores in Vietnam
  12. Experiential food and beverage (F&B) outlets versus chain efficiencies in Vietnam
  13. More data, more marketing fools

Download Cimigo on Vietnam consumer trends 2018 here

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