Tet holiday provides momentum but FMCG undergoing a recovery of sorts.
Kantar Worldpanel’s observations in the first quarter of the year suggest early signs of a recovery, albeit not stable, in the consumption of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in four key cities and rural areas in Vietnam. In urban areas the market has seen some improvement since late 2014 and has registered growth of 1.2 per cent compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the slowdown in rural areas has begun to turn, with value growth now anchored at 8 per cent. In terms of retail landscape, hyper/supermarkets in urban areas are regaining momentum, posting growth of 7 per cent compared to the same period last year. In rural areas, corner shops are holding strong while wet markets are slowing down.
In urban areas, home care and beverages are leading the growth while rural areas are seeing a rapid expansion in the sale of dairy products, at 18 per cent in value and 13 per cent in volume. Among all FMCG categories, liquid detergent in urban areas recorded the most outstanding performance in the first quarter, with 22 per cent growth in volume. The fabric care category has attracted 41,000 new households and managed to achieve a 10 per cent increase in average household consumption. In rural areas, Soya milk has enjoyed 27 per cent growth thanks to attracting 600,000 new households and recording a 9 per cent increase in average volume consumption per household.
Despite some slowdown compared to Tet 2014, the recent Lunar New Year saw growth of 66 per cent compared to the pre-Tet period. Beverages were the key beneficiary while dairy products were the only sector to see modest growth. Urban families started to shop earlier for Tet this year. According to Kantar Worldpanel’s report on shopping behavior there was an earlier rise in FMCG consumption, starting four weeks ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, while it was only three weeks last year. During Tet it is common for families to shop in hyper/supermarkets more than usual, as they can browse through a wide range of products on major shopping trips and take advantage of many promotions and loyalty programs. Hyper/supermarkets gained a better share than in Tet 2014, capturing 17 per cent of Tet spending. Noticeably, over recent years gifts have proven to be increasingly important in the Tet consumption of FMCG. Biscuits, soft drinks and beer are the fastest movers in terms of Tet gifts, indicating more and more families pick these items as New Year presents.
“With its special role in Vietnamese culture, Tet provides seasonal momentum as a spending spree throughout the country,” said Mr. David Anjoubault, General Manager of Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam. “As traditional as Tet can be, consumer behavior during the holiday has been evolving over the years together with the more modern lifestyles of Vietnamese families. Understanding these subtle changes will help manufacturers and retailers touch the hearts of consumers and win their custom on this special occasion.”