Beverage makers contribute to a prosperous Vietnam

January 08, 2022 | 19:00
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The beer, alcohol, and beverage sector globally has a long history dating back thousands of years, associated with culture and life, becoming an indispensable cultural feature of festivals as well as in family reunions and among friends.
Beverage makers contribute to a prosperous Vietnam
By Nguyen Van Viet - Chairman Vietnam Association of Beer, Wine and Beverages

The beverage industry, along with other industries, has made an important contribution to the economic development of Vietnam, and the sector is proud of having a time-honoured tradition. In the first years after economic reforms back in the mid-1980s, it was one of the sectors bogged down in difficulties due to the chronic shortage of input materials and overwhelming foreign goods – particularly Chinese items.

Currently, the Vietnamese beverage market is home to both well-known foreign-invested enterprises and famous locally invested enterprises businesses, such as Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (SABECO), HEINEKEN Vietnam, Hanoi Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (HABECO), Carlsberg, Tan Hiep Phat, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Hennessy, and many more.

Currently, the entire sector has created direct and indirect jobs for millions of workers, in addition to hundreds of thousands of staff at companies and factories, and indirect workers such as distributors, agents, shops, bars, tourism, services, supporting industries, and services such as mechanics, chemicals, electricity, packaging, and transportation.

The sector’s contribution is significant as the ale and beverage sector contributes more than $2.6 billion to state coffers with its revenue doubling, accounting for 2 per cent of the total budget and creating thousands of jobs.

The sector meets not only the diverse needs of domestic consumption but also promotes export activities, bringing Vietnamese beverages to the world. Enterprises have participated in prestigious international food and beverage fairs and exhibitions to introduce products, seek opportunities to promote exports, and expand to international markets.

SABECO has exported to nearly 40 countries, including many large markets such as the United States, Europe, Australia, South Korea, and Japan. HABECO’s products have been widely distributed to countries such as South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, the US, Australia, and many other countries around the world. Meanwhile, Tan Hiep Phat Group’s beverage products have been present in 18 countries around the world.

Since the first years of the open-door policy, many local businesses have made great efforts in investment to reach an international standard in equipment, technology, management expertise, environmental protection, and sustainable development.

In the past two years, the sector has encountered mounting hardships due to the pandemic and stricter traffic laws. In 2021, the negative growth of some service industries accounted for a large proportion, reducing the overall growth rate of the service sector and the whole economy. The wholesale and retail sector decreased by 0.21 per cent over the previous year, and the food-service sector plummeted by 20.81 per cent.

Businesses in the sector have adopted a multitude of innovative measures to counter the headwinds. They have launched products that directly serve consumer needs. For instance, the roll-out of non-alcoholic drinks and fruit-based beverages is working well. SABECO launched Saigon Chill in its premium line and Lac Viet in the economy line, while HEINEKEN launched non-alcoholic beer.

Businesses have also aimed towards sustainable development with a series of community and labour protection measures. The top players, both local and foreign ones, are not only good at production but also properly care for sustainability factors. They have all participated in national programmes on sustainable development, worked on concrete annual plans, and held top positions in Vietnam’s sustainability list.

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