What manufacturers can study from Vietnam’s prepared meal market

Jolene is a Meals & Drink Principal Analyst primarily based in Singapore, specialising in bakery, packaged meals and snack classes. Previous to Mintel, Jolene has model advertising expertise in international CPG corporations and versatile packaging producers, predominantly within the meals and drinks trade.

What was generally known as TV dinners that includes meals that had been edible however bland are actually known as prepared meals and they’re something however tasteless. As an alternative, these prepared meals are largely appetising and flavourful and save shoppers a number of effort and time. 

The demand for prepared meals is now not only a Western factor. In Vietnam, the rise of comfort shops like FamilyMart, Circle Okay, GS 25, and Ministop cater to city consumers who need ready-to-eat meals.  These shops rely closely on high-traffic areas and on-the-go consumption and normally provide a modest choice of ready meals (which could be heated in a microwave) and drinks. 

These components are what make it handy for shoppers, who’re both professionals or college students, to simply drop by a comfort retailer and select what to purchase for lunch or dinner as an alternative of truly cooking a meal, a course of that entails buying and meals prep.

In September 2022, 57% of 1,000 shoppers surveyed in Vietnam (from 54% in September 2021) stated they had been on the lookout for meals that’s straightforward to organize or simply must be heated within the microwave. Vietnam is taken into account a robust marketplace for prepared meals, with 85% of Vietnamese shoppers saying they search for issues that make their life simpler.

Vietnamese meals remains to be a favorite within the prepared meals market even when curiosity in meals from Japan and Korea is rising. With 71% of these surveyed agreeing that as a result of meals is the principle manner to connect with their tradition/heritage, prepared meals generally is a technique to protect the tradition by way of native delicacies. With 74% of Vietnamese saying they eat their major meal of the day alone. Cooking for one particular person is much more difficult due to the portion. 

The World Financial institution stated Vietnam’s economic system will develop by 7.5% in 2022 and the nation’s prepared meal sector is rising steadily with many avenues for enchancment and additional development.

Listed below are the important thing areas in Vietnam’s prepared meals trade for 2023:

Tapping into the Vietnamese tradition and heritage

Whereas those that purchase prepared meals from comfort shops and supermarkets additionally go for Western fare, corresponding to sandwiches, pasta, and salads, 71% of Vietnamese individuals stated meals is a manner to connect with their tradition/heritage. Prepared meals generally is a technique to protect the nation’s tradition and heritage by way of native delicacies in trendy instances. Among the many prepared meals that may be present in Vietnamese comfort shops and supermarkets are the standard Vietnamese sandwich bánh mì and contemporary noodles with a alternative of spices and condiments. 

Wholesome meals

The Vietnamese love contemporary herbs and greens and there may be at all times one thing leafy and crunchy on the desk throughout each meal, be it bean sprouts or kohlrabi, a vegetable from the cabbage household. These greens and herbs could be included in prepared meals like goi cuon (spring rolls), nộm đu đủ: (salad made with thinly sliced inexperienced papaya, carrots, many peanuts, sesame seeds, basil, and coriander), and bánh mì.

Meal kits

Whereas the Vietnamese are on the lookout for prepared meals that they’ll simply warmth within the microwave, 31% of Vietnamese shoppers need to purchase extra merchandise that pace up meal preparation. What would seemingly work on this market, the place most individuals eat alone both by alternative or circumstance, is to supply packs the place the substances, together with condiments, are already pre-chopped and measured. That manner, all the buyer must do is warmth the pan, drop the substances, and look forward to the dish to cook dinner.

What we expect

Shoppers on the lookout for handy meals post-pandemic will drive demand for prepared meals. Manufacturers can take a lesson from Vietnam’s prepared meal market in providing more healthy prepared meals along with comfort, particularly with the expansion in comfort shops throughout each markets. Manufacturers that supply prepared meals impressed by native delicacies will attraction to shoppers who join with their tradition by way of meals.

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