Feb 2, 2013

Vietnam - Luxurious food and drink still in high demand

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VietNamNet Bridge – The luxurious food and drink market has become boisterous. In fact, it has never been hurt by the economic crisis.

Despite economic recession, demand still high

Luxurious products always have their market which stays uninfluenced by the economic crisis. It seems that the high sale season starts later this year than in previous years, but the demand remains very high.

An imported 75g pate can now sells at VND850,000, a box of cookies VND800,000 and a kilo of beef VND4 million, which are 10-20 times higher than the prices of domestic products of the same kinds. The products have been selling well in HCM City.

The import food shop on Ly Tu Trong Street has been always very crowded these days, because it is a well-known address for high income consumers who like imports.

A woman over 40 got out of a car, came into the shop and said to a saleswoman: “I need 10 baskets of gifts, VND2.5 million for each, as soon as possible.”

The basket of gifts, worth VND2.5 million mentioned by the woman, comprises of a bottle of wine and a box of chocolate. The bottle of wine is the import product which alone costs VND2.2 million.

A visitor, who was waiting for checking out, commented that wine seems to be the biggest choice for gifts. Vietnamese like drinks – beer or wine – and especially import wine, no matter how the products are expensive.

The shop covers a small area on Ly Tu Trong Street, but its daily revenue is very big. The chocolate boxes there are priced at no less than VND350,000-800,000, while wine no less than VND1.5 million per bottle.

Ham Nghi Street seemed to be more bustling with a series of shops specializing in distributing food imports. Two bottles of wine priced at VND3 million for each were sold just within 15 minutes. The salesmen there asked customers not to haggle about prices, because they were busy with too many customers.

At H Shop, two office workers from Bitexco building were seen selecting products for gifts. Each of basket of gifts was worth VND4.5 million, which is nearly double the monthly salary of a worker in industrial zone.

MN, one of the two, said though 2012 was a difficult year, the company still decided that the gifts need to be valuable.

Imports means luxury

Beef, imported as frozen products, or fresh cows imported for slaughtering in Vietnam, have been available at many supermarkets and food shops.

Food companies said they have marketed different kinds of imports, because they know Vietnamese favor import products. Beef has been mostly imported from Australia, the US or India. The products from Australia have been selling at VND440,000-570,000 per kilo.

Besides, chicken and mutton imports have also been selling well. Especially, shop owners said lamb has been more and more favorite by customers. The meat products have been put into nylon bags and sold at sky high prices of VND400,000-600,000 per kilo, while the bags do not show the origin of products and the expiry dates.

Chung, a well-known food distributor in HCM City, said he has every luxurious food products consumers need. Those, who buy meat products from Australia and the US, can get deliveries right after making payment. Meanwhile, those, who order Kobe beef, would have to wait for deliveries.

Chung revealed that Kobe beef has been brought to Vietnam not through the official import channel, but by travelers to Vietnam. Of course, Kobe beef is very expensive, about $200 per kilo.

Bao Han

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