Vietnamese brewers win favor in quality and cost.
Vietnam’s beer market is undergoing a sustained period of strong growth, with consumption forecast to increase 13 per cent over the 2011-2015 period, according to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Domestic brewers remain the dominant players. The Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (Sabeco) holds the largest market share, of about 41.6 per cent, a report by market researchers Nielsen shows. In 2014 it produced and sold 1.35 billion liters of beer, contributing nearly VND7 trillion ($327.32 million) to the State budget and putting it third among beer brewers in Southeast Asia.
While foreign brewers have an advantage in branding, domestic brewers are popular due to their beer and its price being preferred by Vietnamese drinkers. Sabeco, with its four main products lines of Saigon Lager, Saigon Export, Saigon 333 and Saigon Special, are rated as having good quality by customers. “I think quality would be the leading factor in us retaining customers,” a representative of Saigon Beer said. “Even when our products change their image they keep their familiar flavor.”
There will be increased competition, however, as foreign firms keep their eye on the market and try to increase their presence. There are currently about 30 international beer brands in Vietnam. Domestic brewers seem likely to fall into a situation where they will have to compete with each other in adopting strategies to compete with foreign brands.