Thais develop growing appetite for Vietnamese food

09:20 | 08/11/2019 Trade

(VEN) - Vietnamese Goods Weeks have been held regularly in Thailand over the past four years, making a good impression on not only Thai consumers but also on foreign visitors. Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Hanh spoke about this with Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European-American Market Department.

thais develop growing appetite for vietnamese food
Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European-American Market Department

What is your assessment of the strengths of Vietnamese goods in Thailand?

The most popular Vietnamese products introduced at the 2019 Vietnamese Goods Week in Thailand included noodles, tea, coffee, snacks, fresh fruits and spices. At the event, Thai customers tasted Vietnamese noodles, coffee products of King Coffee, Hai Binh cashews, lotus seeds, chocolate, and dried and processed fruits of Vinamit.

Although Vietnam and Thailand have similar import and export structures, the two countries have typical products reflecting their own unique cultures, which have attracted an increasing number of buyers and growing consumer interest.

Tops and Central Food Hall supermarkets in Thailand have imported different Vietnamese products. In 2018, Tops stores imported King Coffee’s products and Vinamit’s dried fruits. Seeing the warm welcome from consumers, this year Tops has plans to diversify the range of imports from Vietnam. It will be importing instant noodles of Vifon, Hai Binh cashews, Le Fruit’s jam products, and Sense Asia’s ground coffee. With those good signals, I believe that Vietnamese goods will have an increasing foothold and market share in Thailand.

What trade promotion activities does the Ministry of Industry and Trade conduct in Thailand?

To increase Vietnamese goods’ presence in Thailand, the Ministry of Industry and Trade worked with the Central Group to hold a “Vietnam Goods Week” in the group’s supermarkets in Bangkok on an annual basis. In addition, the ministry and the Thai Ministry of Trade co-organized a Vietnamese-Thai trade and investment promotion seminar in Hanoi. The ministry encouraged and helped Vietnamese businesses and organizations participate in a number of specialized fairs in Thailand, such as the ASEAN-India Expo and Forum. It also organized a Vietnamese business delegation to a Thai rice conference, enabling Vietnamese companies to learn about rice production and look for potential partners in Thailand.

thais develop growing appetite for vietnamese food
Vietnamese dried nuts attract consumers

What are the strong and weak points of Vietnamese Goods Weeks in Thailand?

Vietnamese Goods Weeks left a good impression on not only Thai consumers but also foreign visitors to Thailand, and they took place at the Central World trade center that welcomes thousands of visitors daily. Goods on the shelves were all high quality products of Vietnam. The events’ organizers introduced Vietnamese cultures, cuisine and tourist offerings to Thai and international visitors through Vietnamese dishes, song and music performances, and fashion shows. Apart from the grand opening sessions, there were many specific activities facilitating enterprises’ exports to Central Group supermarkets. The group’s leaders and the Ministry of Industry and Trade worked on how to facilitate business, purchase Vietnamese products and connect Vietnamese companies with goods purchasers.

I think it is necessary to organize trade promotion events at a series of supermarkets across Thailand as well as run Vietnamese goods promotion programs for 1-3 days so the events can reach more Thai consumers and foreign visitors.

What role does the Central Group play in bringing Vietnamese products to Thailand and other countries in the region?

The Ministry of Industry and Trade highly appreciates the Central Group’s support of Vietnamese exporters, including assistance in capacity building and product quality, design and packaging improvement through business training and connectivity. Central Group is researching to find strong Vietnamese products for promotion in Thailand at the Central World trade center. This year’s Vietnamese Goods Week focuses on noodles, tea, coffee, snacks, fresh fruits and spices, in which Thai consumers are interested. We hope that with efforts by the Central Group and Vietnamese businesses, Vietnamese goods’ presence in supermarket in Thailand will increase.

Nguyen Hanh