In Vietnam’s drinking culture, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage. Beer consumption per capita reached 44.1 liters in Vietnam. However, compared to other countries with similar cultural backgrounds, beer consumption is still lower than, for instance, China and Japan, although Vietnam’s hot climate is favorable for beer consumption. Thus, Vietnam’s beer market still has room to grow. The premium beer segment is especially promising, as more and more Vietnamese prefer international and high-quality brands.
Over 90 percent of the beer market belongs to the big players Sabeco, Habeco, Carlsberg and Heineken, with Sabeco and Heinken holding a combined 60 percent share of the market. The booming beer market has attracted investors both nationally and internationally. Various foreign firms have bought stakes in the local brands Sabeco and Habeco. While ThaiBev has purchased stakes in Sabeco, Carlsberg is a strategic investor of Habeco. In 2019, Sabeco generated a revenue of approximately 32.71 trillion Vietnamese dong from beer sales, having already reached 47.4 percent of its revenue target and 59.8 percent of its profit target in the first half of the year.
Vietnam’s beer market faces some challenges, however. The beer market has been affected by the stricter implementation of drunk driving laws for car, motorbike and bicycle drivers. Those caught driving drunk would now face higher fines and stiffer penalties. This has led to a drop in the stock value of the industry. Small businesses would mostly likely be affected by this. However, if both domestic and foreign brands can diversify their products and innovate their retailing strategy and adapt their marketing spending, profitability can be sustained. Moreover, there are further growth opportunities in the export sector.