According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the total export value of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products in February surpassed $3.4 billion, an increase of 18.1 per cent compared to the previous month and up 5.7 per cent on-year.
In the first two months of 2023, total export and import value is estimated to reach $11.99 billion, of which exports account for around $6.28 billion. After China and the US, Japan ranks third among the largest markets for Vietnamese agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products, with an export value touching $563 million or 9 per cent.
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, Japanese people have seen changes in consumer tastes, making them increasingly interested in high-quality imported products.
This presents a significant demand for imported agricultural and food products. With their diverse range of offerings, those from Vietnam are gaining popularity and are now commonly found on the shelves of major supermarkets such as AEON, Donkihote, and Itoyokado in Japan.
In this context, Vietnamese enterprises have been taking advantage of opportunities to promote their products and seek cooperation in Japan, such as participating in Foodex Japan 2023.
The exhibition has created particular interest in the food and beverages (F&B) business community and is considered a gateway to bolster exports to the Japanese market and other Asian countries. It draws the participation of nearly 1,500 exhibitors from 44 countries and territories, 77 per cent of whom come from countries outside of Japan.
In 2022, Foodex Japan attracted nearly 33,800 visitors from 98 countries around the world, of whom nearly 11,000 were international visitors – mostly wholesalers, retailers, food service providers, and F&B manufacturers.
In contrast to last year's event, where only five businesses showcased 10 booths in the Vietnamese exhibition area, this year's Foodex Japan saw the participation of 39 Vietnamese enterprises, including many prominent names in the agriculture and food industry, such as the PAN Group and Vinamilk,
The items on display included agricultural products, fresh, processed, and canned vegetables and fruits, processed seafood products, nutrient-rich and cereal-based foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and confectionery.
|The PAN Group’s booth with its own products draws attention at Foodex Japan 2023 |
As a result, the booths of Vietnamese enterprises not only impressed visitors with a significantly larger scale compared to the previous year, but also with unique and distinctively Vietnamese displays.
Despite consistently ranking among the top countries in global agricultural exports, the impression of many international customers regarding Vietnamese products remains that of raw agricultural products.
Nguyen Thi Tra My, CEO of The PAN Group, explained that participating in major exhibitions such as Foodex Japan is not only an opportunity to expand markets and promote products, but also for leading businesses to help reposition Vietnamese agricultural and food products in the international market.
“In the past, the world viewed us as a country with a large agricultural output, but it was not highly regarded for quality. We want to demonstrate that well processed agricultural products and foods, with the Vietnamese brand, can confidently stand alongside the products of any country in the world market,” noted Tra My.
|A Japanese customer is keen on Bibica’s products |
In fact, member units belonging to PAN Group are familiar with the trade fair, but this is the first time PAN has participated on a company-wide scale with typical products from all three categories of agriculture, aquaculture, and packaged food.
“We have been working with many suppliers from Vietnam for almost 15 years. The nation's products fully meet the Japanese market's requirements,” said Shin Yamanaga, CEO of Vietlink LLC.
"For example, after the pandemic, we urgently needed frozen products due to the labour shortage in the restaurant and hotel system in Tokyo. Only suppliers from Vietnam could meet our very detailed requirements."
|The booths of Vietnamese enterprises not only impressed visitors with a significantly larger scale compared to the previous year, but also with unique and distinctively Vietnamese displays. |
“Today I met Khang An Foods – our regular supplier of frozen aqua-products and mixed vegetables – and found it very interesting to see them in a larger group with other member companies from PAN Group. Obviously, you have seen great potential from the Japanese market and are doing very well,” Yamanaga continued.
One supportive factor for Vietnamese agricultural and food products in Japan is the 10 million Asian residents, including a rapidly growing number of Vietnamese nationals.
As a result, imported agricultural and seafood products, as well as other food items, from Vietnam have gained widespread recognition among Japanese consumers and secured inspiring sales figures. These are bright signs showcasing the significant potential that Vietnamese agricultural and seafood products have for export development in Japan.
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