The Baby Food Sector in Vietnam, 2018
It is estimated that 1.5 million babies were born in Vietnam in 2017, resulting in a baby population of 4.4 million (aged 0-3 years). In general, there has been a downward trend in the birth rate, as the government has sought to discourage large families. The bulk of the population continues to live in rural areas - 64.9% in 2017. Urban incomes are almost double the average for rural areas. Incomes for most groups are, however, rising, and the last decade has seen the emergence of an increasingly affluent middle class.
Although the baby food sector has grown by 59% in value since 2011, 2016 and the start of 2017 saw a downturn in sales, in particular of baby milks. The situation improved in 2017 as a whole, however, and retail sales grew by 3% at current prices. Sales are increasingly spreading from the two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, although consumption in rural areas remains low. Overall consumption levels remain low by Asian standards, at 8.3kg per baby aged 0-3 years in 2017.
Milks constitute the bulk of sales, although high volume growth has also been registered in cereals/dried meals as well as in the meals and others category, although this is still small. In 2017, retail sales of milks were estimated at VND13,000 billion (US$572 million), equivalent to 83% of the total. Cereals and dried meals account for a further 13.7%, with wet meals, drinks, and snacks making up the remaining 3%.
The largest domestic supplier of baby food by far is Vinamilk, which produces infant formula and baby cereals; although a growing number of other local manufacturers are active as well. Vietnam is a major importer of baby milks. In 2016, the last year for which figures are available, milks with a value of US$259 million were imported, originating mainly from Singapore, Thailand, and Ireland. Foreign-owned products account for the majority of the sector, amounting to 75% of value sales.
The report The Baby Food Sector in Vietnam, 2018, is an analytical report by GlobalData which provides extensive and highly detailed current and future market trends in the Vietnamese market.
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