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Vietnamese firms struggle to win domestic market

Vietnamese firms struggle to win domestic market

Monday, March 13, 2023, 18:36 GMT+7
Vietnamese firms struggle to win domestic market
A production line of coconut-based products in Ben Tre Province, southern Vietnam. Many ‘made-in-Vietnam’ products meeting international standards are hard to be sold in local supermarkets. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

Many Vietnamese enterprises have encountered multiple difficulties in conquering the domestic market although they produce goods meeting international standards, heard a conference held in southern Ben Tre Province last Friday. 

At the conference to review the cooperation between distributors in Ho Chi Minh City and enterprises in the Mekong Delta region, Cu Van Thanh, CEO of Luong Quoi Coconut Processing Co. Ltd. in Ben Tre Province, said his company has experienced various difficulties to put its products on the shelves of local supermarkets.

However, its products are put in hard-to-see positions, leading to lower-than-expected sales. 

Thanh added that after the COVID-19 pandemic, many domestic enterprises have paid more attention to the local market.

Luong Quoi Coconut Processing Co. Ltd. has developed the domestic market for many years. It has recently poured even more capital in the local market.

“Our products have been present in most local supermarkets and traditional wet markets but I’m still worried," Thanh said.

“We have faced many difficulties despite being a large brand, so small and medium firms will face further obstacles.

“What is worth mentioning is that our products are sometimes placed in inconspicuous positions [in supermarkets].

“I do not understand why supermarkets and distributors always assess Vietnamese products as inferior to foreign ones and price them lower despite the same quality."

Many other companies shared the view that there are many hindrances to put their products on supermarket shelves to develop the domestic market.

Many even grew angry when some distribution channels took their products off their shelves for unclear reasons.

At the conference, a representative of Saigon Trading Group said the firm wants to cooperate with many enterprises to diversify its product supplies.

However, it has faced hardship in taking delivery of goods from enterprises.

He recommended that enterprises should launch many promotion programs to attract customers, thus boosting their sales through domestic distribution channels.

Meanwhile, a representative of a supermarket chain specializing in distributing agricultural produce in Ho Chi Minh City said that such produce does not have equivalent quality and is not turned out as per consistent standards.

Some products which have been sold in supermarkets for a period have been rejected by the same supermarkets over quality concerns.

Vo Van Hoan, vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, said start-ups find it harder to put their products on supermarket shelves.

“We are investing in and developing Vietnamese goods meeting international quality standards,” Hoan added, asking why it is hard to sell them in the domestic market.

He asked supermarkets to set aside areas for locally-made products and not to compare them with other countries’ products to support domestic enterprises.

The official called on both producers and distributors to promote Vietnamese products and encourage local consumption.

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Thanh Ha - Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre News


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