Exploring the cheese market in Vietnam

As Western cuisine grows in popularity in Vietnam, we expect the cheese market to grow strongly in the near future.

Orrani's Richard Field recently visited Vietnam to explore the opportunities for cheese in the local foodservice and retail channels. At present, few stores can match the range of product available in the gourmet retailer (pictured above), but the cheese market is set to grow strongly.

A rapidly expanding market

We began projects in Vietnam in the 1990s as the Doi Moi (open door) policy was starting to take effect, and it’s amazing to consider how the country has changed since those times when we went to and fro from our project office in Hanoi’s iconic cyclos!

cyclos vietnam

The Vietnamese economy grew at an average annual rate of 7.5% between 1991–2000. This wasn’t a flash in the pan: economic growth in the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City – perhaps 60–70% of the market for imported food and beverage – has just been targeted at 8% for 2016.

As one of our local trade marketing contacts made clear, things are moving very fast, hence the significant spend by major food businesses’ on constantly monitoring the emergence of new stores.

When the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was agreed in the summer, the EU trade commissioner noted that trade between the two had increased threefold over the past decade to €28 billion.

The subsequent signing last week confirms that – whilst the country remains a challenging market – dairy and wider food and beverage export opportunities in the local market are certainly set to rise.