Changing retail landscape and consumption habitsTraditional retail channels such as street shops or wet markets still accounted for most of the grocery retail sales in Vietnam. However, in recent years, more and more consumers have chosen to shop at modern trade outlets, namely supermarkets and convenience stores. The penetration rate of modern retailers was especially high in urban areas. In Vietnam’s two largest cities Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, consumers demonstrated a higher preference for these channels over traditional grocery outlets. Together with the expanding e-commerce sector, online grocery retail was expected to increase its retail value share in the future, as this channel has a growing usage rate in urban Vietnam.
Many Vietnamese consumers consider convenience as an important criterion for their food demand nowadays, leading to rapidly increasing retail sales of packaged food. Although fresh items still accounted for the highest sales of food and beverage products, packaged food has been catching up, with the second-highest sales. While traditional Vietnamese cuisine does not often include dairy, these products have grown into the most purchased packaged food items thanks to growing consumption. Meanwhile, health-conscious consumers have been switching to dairy alternatives such as plant-based drinks in recent years.