“Phở” makes splash in Thailand

09:42 | 13/02/2020 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Thai consumers are fussy as far as foreign foods go, but even they cannot resist the iconic Vietnamese broth with rice noodles, herbs, and meat - known the world over as Pho, perhaps also because it reminds them of some of their traditional noodle dishes.

pho makes splash in thailand

Opportunities in Thailand

Dubbed “street food”, Pho is nonetheless popular with high-ranking officials, too. For example, after visiting the Vietnamese Week in Thailand 2019, co-organized by Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Central World in Bangkok, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanavisit and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai sat down for fragrant bowls of Pho at the food area of the shopping center.

They were served by 30-year-old Vietnamese chef Vu Ngoc Duc, one of 45 Vietnamese businesspeople who traveled recently to Bangkok to bring their products to the food fair and hoping to fill the shelves of Thai supermarkets.

Occupying a small patch of the fair’s 1,000-square-meter exhibition area, Duc’s booth sold over 500 bowls of Pho in just two days. While sipping their nutritious soup, visitors could also watch how the Pho was made on the spot.

Another attraction was the price - just 79 baht (VND56,000) for a bowl of Pho with beef and 59 baht (VND42,000) for a bowl with chicken.

At the same event held in 2018, Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai and Thai Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong also enjoyed Pho on the opening day.

Apart from the traditionally cooked Pho, instant Pho packs are also popular with Thai consumers.

A Tops Market supermarket in Huai Khwang district sells 100-200 packs of VIFON Pho daily, for 17 baht (VND13,000) each. Pimjai Navanukroh, Tops Market General Manager, said the chain had imported about 500 food products of all kinds from Vietnam and the number increases 10 percent every year. The best sellers were instant Pho and coffee.

Juthamard Juangierm, a customer, said Vietnamese Pho is easier to find at Thai restaurants than in supermarkets and was pleased that the soup would now be available on shelves at a reasonable price.

A deserved representative

Pho has become a deserved representative of Vietnam’s diverse cuisine, similar to the sushi of Japan, tom yum of Thailand and pizza of Italy. Among the typical products selected for the Vietnamese Week in Thailand 2019, Pho and rice vermicelli were the most popular.

Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai said the annual Vietnamese Week in Thailand has introduced many products to his country people, gradually generating more export revenues for Vietnam.

An authentic Pho includes delicious rice grains, chewy and soft, but it must be anise flavored. General Director of Acecook Vietnam Kajuwara Junichi said, “It is a perfect dish, I feel Vietnamese people are very happy when they eat Pho every day.”

Despite stiff competition, Vietnamese agricultural and food products have experienced good growth in Thailand in recent years thanks to closer cooperation between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Thailand’s distributors and retailers. “The Vietnamese Week in Thailand 2019 showed the vision and determination of MOIT and Central Group in strengthening economic relations, connecting investment and businesses by exchanging products and services,” said Thai Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanavisit.

Paul Le, Vice President of Central Group Vietnam’s Import Export Division: Consumers always want safe, good food that meets their taste. When targeting a specific market, apart from meeting local consumers’ tastes, you must maintain the core quintessence of your products, and just bring your culture to the world.

Nguyen Hanh